Same-sex civil partners to skip notification period

New amendment means couples will not have to wait three months to marry

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: has agreed a new amendment to the Marriage Bill 2015. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: has agreed a new amendment to the Marriage Bill 2015. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Couples already in civil partnerships will not have to give a three-month notification period before entering a same-sex marriage.

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald have agreed a new amendment to the Marriage Bill 2015, which is making its way through the Oireachtas.

Under current law, couples have to notify a registrar three months before entering a civil partnership.

The new Marriage Bill would have required them to give an additional three months.

‘No logical reason’

However, the two Ministers said there was “no logical policy reason why they should be required to serve, in effect, a second three-month notification period if they wish to marry”.

A Department of Social Protection source said: “There is no logical policy reason to require the same couples to enter an additional three-month period of reflection.

“Both departments agree that such couples will not have to serve the three-month notification period again.

“An amendment to that effect will be made at report stage once approved by Government.”

The Tánaiste’s department and Ms Fitzgerald’s department have been working closely on key aspects of the Bill, as the Department of Justice is leading on it while the Department of Social Protection oversees marriage registration.