Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (184)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

184. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a heterosexual couple can register their relationship as a civil partnership; if not, his plans to introduce same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12133/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

In accordance with section 3 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, civil partners must be of the same sex. Under the provisions of section 2 (2A) of the Civil Registration Act 2004, as inserted by the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, there is an impediment to the registration of a civil partnership if the parties to the intended civil partnership are of opposite sexes. I have no plans to amend this. In any case it would be constitutionally impermissible to do so: the legal advice available to the Government is that making a relationship with many of the rights and obligations of marriage available to opposite sex couples, who have the option of marriage, would violate the constitutional protection for the institution of marriage.