Bill an 'advance for inequality' - Mullen


THE CIVIL Partnership Bill is in some ways “an advance for inequality”, according to Senator Rónán Mullen (Independent), ahead of the legislation coming before the Seanad.

“I see it as supposedly an equality measure, but one in which in fact brings about a new kind of discrimination,” Mr Mullen said on RTÉ radio yesterday.

“My belief is that marriage between a man and a woman is what the State has a real interest in promoting and supporting, because it’s the context that’s socially preferred for the upbringing of children, and that it’s not inequality to treat that case of marriage between a man and a woman differently.”

Mr Mullen added: “What in effect is happening here is they are jumping the queue to enjoy, along with married couples, benefits which are not being made available to other people in caring, dependent situations.”

He would prefer a redress scheme for any caring dependent situation which would include same-sex couples, heterosexual cohabiters, siblings and carers.

Meanwhile, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties said the passage of the legislation through the Dáil “truly marks a red-letter day for same-sex couples”. Director Mark Kelly added that the Bill was “only a stepping stone” to full equality for same-sex couples. “Deficiencies in the Bill will ensure that same-sex couples remain unequal in the eyes of the law,” he said.