Civil partnership legislation in Ireland is just a stepping stone to the Green Party’s real goal of full ‘homosexual marriage’, admitted John Gormley, the Minister for the Environment.
The controversial Irish Civil Partnership Bill was signed into law by President Mary McAleese last month, exposing registrars to a fine and/or prison if they refused to participate.
Mr Gormley, the leader of the Green Party, told attendees at its Party for Partnership event that he welcomed the passing of the Bill but added “tomorrow we continue the fight towards the final goal of full marriage equality”.
But critics say imposing a new definition of marriage on society could cause a surge in litigation against those groups and individuals who hold to the traditional definition of marriage.
In England faith based adoption agencies have already been crushed by ‘equality’ laws because of their biblical stance on homosexual conduct.
And schools may be forced to teach children that there is no moral difference between same-sex marriage and heterosexual marriage.
The Civil Partnership Bill’s passage through the Irish Parliament was shrouded by controversy, and repeated calls for a conscience clause were rejected.
The new legislation goes even further than existing UK civil partnership legislation as it lays out fines of up to €2,000 and/or up to a six month jail term for those who flout it.
Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern described the Act as “one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence” and “the epitome of a Christian and pluralist society.”
However, during earlier debates Senator Jim Walsh expressed concern that the lack of a conscience clause will move the country “to a totalitarian society which certainly many of us, particularly liberals, would argue against if it were impinging upon their beliefs.”
In March Roman Catholic bishops criticised the legislation, warning that it “represents a fundamental revolution in our understanding of marriage and the family and cannot go unchallenged”.
David Quinn, a commentator writing in the Irish Independent, said Christians’ views on the Bill were being ignored and that the new law will “greatly undermine the special status accorded to marriage.”