Civil partnership 'only a halfway house' for gay couples hoping to get married
“I think with anything like this, slow and steady wins the race,” she says.
“You need to make everyone aware of the issues and doing it gently will get you further sometimes. The Irish do not like change, so we need to do it slowly and properly.”
Boyle says that while she is not overly religious, she has always dreamed of walking down the aisle and hopes one day it will be possible.
“I work in construction,” she says. “I am a woman in a man’s world there and so it never really bothers me what people think.
“But since I was a child, I’ve wanted to get married and walk down an aisle in a church. It is many girls’ fairytale and that is one downfall with civil partnership that we can’t do that.”
One Irish couple who availed of gay marriage abroad say they find it frustrating that their marriage is recognised in some countries, but not in the Republic.
Michael Barron (37), executive director of BeLonG To youth organisation, and his husband, singer Jaime Nanci (35), got married in South Africa where gay marriage is legal. At the time, civil partnership had yet to become available here.
“It’s almost like we’re married in some countries and not in others,” says Barron.
“It is bizarre. We returned to Ireland married and yet the State recognises us as civil partners, when we refer to ourselves as husbands and as being married.”
Nanci says he recently had to indicate his next of kin when he was in hospital and there was no option on the computer system for him to select “husband”.
“The nurse in the hospital was embarrassed about it and said she had to put in ‘partner’,” Nanci says.
“We are more than partners. To me that word could mean business partners. I have never described Michael as my partner – he has been my boyfriend, my fiance and now my husband.
“I emailed the hospital just to explain the situation and I got a letter apologising and saying they would change the system.”
Barron is hopeful that some day they will be able to have their marriage recognised in the Republic.
“I think it will happen in the not-too-distant future,” he says.
“There are practical gaps around children that need to be addressed and also around recognition that we are equal to everyone else. I think that if in the morning, heterosexuals were only allowed become civil partners, there would be a huge outcry against it.
“To us,” he adds, “civil partnership is only a halfway house.”