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Civil Partnerships in North should clear way for southern recognition - Mary Lou McDonald

22 December, 2005


Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today said that the
recognition of civil partnerships for same sex couples in the six counties
places a 'responsibility on the 26 county authorities to fast track
legislation to ensure equality across the island'.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"I want to congratulate all of those who participated in civil ceremonies
across the six counties in the past number of days. My hope is that we will
now see corresponding legislation in the 26
counties.

"A disparity now exists where civil partnerships are legal in one part of
the island but not the other. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
are still treated as second-class citizens and although civil partnerships
in the north are welcome, society still has some way to travel if we are to
end institutional and societal discrimination.

"It is now imperative that the southern authorities fast track legislation
to ensure equality right across the island in relation to tax inheritance,
pensions, health and state benefits." ENDS



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