Tánaiste welcomes commencement of Marriage Act 2015


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Tánaiste welcomes commencement of Marriage Act 2015 and signs Regulations to assist civil partners who now wish to marry

The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., has today (Tuesday, 10th November) signed Regulations that make it easier for civil partners who now wish to marry following the commencement of the Marriage Act 2015.

The Tánaiste signed the Regulations and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald signed the Commencement Order for the Act at a ceremony in Dublin Castle.

From next Monday, 16 November, same sex couples will have the right to marry without distinction as to their sex as provided for in Article 41.4 of the Constitution. 

The Tánaiste said: “The marriage equality referendum was a magical, moving moment – a massive leap for equality in this country. Today is another historic step in the journey away from discrimination and prejudice, and towards acceptance, tolerance and love.

“Having worked tirelessly to push the Marriage Act through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible, Minister Fitzgerald has today signed the Commencement Order giving effect to the Act, making marriage a reality for LGBT couples.

“Separately, I have signed regulations to make things easier for couples in Civil Partnerships who now wish to marry. In my role as Minister for Social Protection, I have responsibility for the Civil Registration Act, dealing with the registration of life events such as marriages.

“Marriage requires three months’ notice as standard. However, many LGBT couples are already in Civil Partnerships and may now wish to marry. Having already served three months’ notice to become civil partners, and having demonstrated their commitment and love to one another, they should not have to serve another three months before getting married. These regulations remove the requirement to serve a further three months’ notice period for those couples, as well as reducing the notification fee for those couples from €200 to €50. These are important steps towards providing a smoother transition for those couples when engaging with the Civil Registration Service.”

From 16 November, same sex couples will have the following options available to them:

  • Couples already in a Civil Partnership with each other and who wish to marry, can apply to marry in Ireland;
  • Couples already in a Civil Partnership in Ireland can remain as they are if they wish;
  • Couples who have already given notice of a Civil Partnership to the Registrar may now convert their notice to a notice of intention to marry on the same date and will not be required to serve a further 3 months’ notice;
  • Same sex marriages which have taken place abroad will be recognised in Ireland
  • Couples already in a Civil Partnership from another country can apply to marry in Ireland.

ENDS

Note for Editors

  • The first same-sex marriages are expected to take place before the end of this year.
  • Almost 200 same sex couples have applied for Civil Partnership since 22 May (Referendum)
  • Where a Civil Partnership ceremony took place in the State and the couple wish to marry, the couple will not be required to serve a further 3 months’ notice before the date of their intended ceremony.  The couple must, by appointment, attend the Registrar’s Office not less than 5 days (or as determined by the Registrar) before the intended date of the ceremony to sign a declaration in his/her presence that there is no impediment to the marriage.  They will not be required to pay an additional €200 fee.
  • The HSE registration staff, under the direction of the Office of the Registrar General, are  currently contacting couples who have already given notice of intention for a Civil Partnership to ask if they wish to convert the notification to one of intent to marry.
  • From 16 November, when the new legislation takes effect, same sex couples will not have an option to apply for a Civil Partnership.  However, those who are already in a Civil Partnership have the option of remaining as they are or converting to a marriage, it is their choice.
  • Couples who are in a subsisting foreign Civil Partnership will be permitted to marry in the State. They will be required to give three months’ notice of intention to marry to a Registrar and complete the standard preliminaries for a valid marriage. Couples who are parties to a subsisting same-sex foreign marriage will not be permitted to marry in the State, as their foreign marriage will be recognised from the date the Marriage Act 2015 comes into operation, provided the marriage in question satisfies the rules of private international law governing such recognition.
  • The General Register Office shows that 2,054 Civil Partnerships are registered to date. The Marriage Act provides that anyone in an existing Civil Partnership may opt to marry and that the Civil Partnership will cease to exist. The Civil Partnership will continue to be valid unless they opt to marry. Couples will be required to give notice of intention to marry to a Registrar, but there will be no minimum notice period. Such couples will be required to pay a reduced fee of €50.
  • There will be an actual marriage ceremony (unlike the UK where a Civil Partnership is converted to a marriage based on statutory declaration by the couple). It is not possible to give people the statutory declaration option (i.e. no ceremony) because it was not provided for in the Marriage Act 2015.
Last modified:10/11/2015