Dublin, Ireland, Apr 6, 2011 / 00:52 am
Ireland has entered into new territory by recognizing civil partnerships for homosexuals, a move which has prompted more calls to recognize “gay marriage.” The Catholic bishops have said the partnerships undermine marriage and the family, while a gay political analyst has argued that Ireland should refuse to redefine marriage.
Gay people should defend the traditional understanding of marriage “as strong as anyone else,” Richard Waghorne said in an essay for the Irish Daily Mail. “Given that it is being undermined in the name of gay people, with consequences for future generations, it is all the more important that gay people who are opposed to gay marriage speak up.”
A law creating civil partnerships for homosexuals came into effect in Ireland on January 1. Six partnerships were registered after the parties sought court exemptions from a three-month waiting period. The first two people to register without an exemption were Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh, who registered on April 5.
Dignam told the Irish Times he supports “gay marriage,” but unlike some he did not believe the partnerships should be boycotted until same-sex unions are recognized by the state as marriages.