Dublin – «A new public opinion poll shows the majority of people in Ireland believe same‑sex couples should have the same rights and obligations as married opposite‑sex couples.
But the survey also shows most people do not think same‑sex couples should be allowed to adopt children.
The survey, taken for Dublin's Sunday Tribune, shows that 64% of those polled said they are in favour of gay and lesbian couples having the same legal and financial rights as married couples.
Just over 25% of those surveyed said were against same‑sex couple rights, while about 10% had no opinion.
The poll shows a growing trend toward acceptance of gay and lesbian partners. In February, 51% of those surveyed in a similar poll said they supported legally acknowledging gay couples.
Last January an all party committee of the Irish Parliament recommended legislation to permit civil partnerships similar to those in the UK but rejected the possibility of same-sex marriage.
The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network has been pressing for full marriage rights.
This issue is before Ireland's highest court. The case involves a couple who married in Canada but when they returned home and tried to file a joint income tax return the Revenue Commissioners refused to recognize the marriage citing Irish law. The court heard arguments in the case earlier this month and has reserved judgment.
If the court rules the government must recognize marriages performed in countries where they are already legal it could open a floodgate of couples going to the Netherlands, Belgium or Spain and force the government to bring in full marriage rights rather than civil partnerships.
While public support for same-sex couple recognition continues to grow in Ireland support for gay parenting lags.
The Sunday Tribune poll shows that 50% of those asked about same-sex couples becoming parents said that they oppose the idea. Only 37% were in favour.»
Ireland is on the right path now. Italy seems to be heading that way too. What about Portugal? The Prime Minister should know what he's doing. The problem is I don't believe he does. Better: I don't believe he ever wants to know...