Government formally approves Marriage Equality Bill, with same sex marriages by the end of the year
THE Government has formally approved the Marriage Equality Bill - paving the way for the first same sex marriages by the end of the year.
The bill was approved by Cabinet this morning and will now go before the Dail and Seanad.
The Department of Justice said the bill will recognise same-sex marriages entered into in other countries
However, religious solemnisers will not be compelled to recognise a particular form of marriage ceremony.
President Michael D Higgins signed the marriage equality bill into the Constitution at the end of August.
Now the Government has approved the constitutional change.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald brought the Marriage Bill 2015 before her colleagues this morning.
The bill will go through a number of stages in the Dail and the Senead, which could take several weeks.
The legislation will ultimately be voted on by all members of parliament.
“The minister is hoping it will go through quickly and it shouldn’t take that long, if there is as much cross-party support for the constitutional change as there was during the referendum campaign,” a Justice Department spokesman said.
The Marriage Equality Referendum was passed by an overwhelming majority, with more than 60pc voting in favour of the change to the Constitution.
The result made Ireland the first country in the world to introduce gay marriage by a popular vote.
The vote was welcomed by gay and lesbian rights groups across the globe.
A legal challenge was mounted against the referendum result but it was shot down by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
The two individuals who brought those cases have since lodged an appeal with the
The applicants, Clare electrician Gerry Walshe and Kilkenny gardener Maurice J Lyons, have complained the views of those opposed to same sex marriage were not taken into account by the Government during the referendum campaign.