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Same sex parents’ rights delayed for the sixth time by government. Stand alone bill should be tabled – Senator Fintan Warfield

30 November, 2018 - by Fintan Warfield

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has criticised the government for delaying the commencement of key legislation that would grant equal parental status for certain same sex parents.

The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (CFRA), which was passed by the Oireachtas three and a half years ago, legislated so that both same sex parents could be registered as legal parents on the birth certificate.

Senator Warfield said:

“The non-commencement of parts 2, 3 and 9 means that one parent is left without any legal rights over the child leaving parents and children vulnerable.

“Despite the bill’s passage in April 2015, the government has missed six separate deadlines that they themselves have set.

“Government is letting same-sex parents and their families down. 

“Minister Simon Harris stated in the Dáil that this issue would be sorted by the end of October. While this deadline has been missed without a reasonable explanation or apology, Minister Regina Doherty is now stating that her department will have to amended certain sections before commencement.

"We are told that this will be done in January via the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 - a bill that has languished at committee stage for over a year.

“The government claim to be LGBTQI allies yet there is a clear lack of priority and political will in dealing with these issues.

"The lack of recognition for these same sex parents has gone on three years without any honesty, transparency or an apology for the delays.

“I am calling on government to expedite these amendments through a standalone bill and not allow these rights to be delayed again or buried in another piece of legislation - the speedy passage of which cannot be guaranteed through the Oireachtas”.

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