Gay Couple Challenge Civil Partnership Act

Dr Ann Louise Gilligan and partner Senator Katherine Zappone are to issue a fresh legal challenge this week in their fight to be married under Irish law.

The new challenge, which is set to be heard in the High Court, will seek to test the provisions of the Civil Registration Act 2004, which marked the first time marriage was defined in Irish statute as between a man and a woman, and the Civil Partnership Act 2010, which prohibits people who have registered a civil partnership from marrying.

The Constitution does not currently include a definition of marriage, but includes a commitment to equality for all citizens.

Senator Katherine Zappone, a public policy consultant, and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, an academic, have been together for some 30 years and married in British Columbia, Canada, in 2003.

The couple launched an unsuccessful Supreme Court appeal against the Civil Registration Act 2004 in October last year and had been planning to proceed with a new challenge.

"It became clear to us that, even if we succeeded with our original case, the provisions within the Civil Registration Act and the Civil Partnership Act would remain. So it became imperative to shelve our Supreme Court appeal and proceed to challenge this Act before the High Court," said Ms Zappone.


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