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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 18, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 38
Irish court rejects challenge to marriage equality
Marriages to begin before end of year
Section One
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Irish court rejects challenge to marriage equality
Marriages to begin before end of year

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Ireland's Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch challenge to the country's marriage equality law on September 16, and same-sex couples should be able to marry before the end of the year.

The Irish government had planned to enact new marriage laws in July, following a May referendum in which 62% of Irish voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage.

However, two men, Maurice Lyons and Gerry Walshe, filed suit to block the enabling legislation required to allow Lesbian and Gay couples to marry.

The court ruled that neither man had met the requirements for a Supreme Court appeal, as neither had raised the necessary legal point of general public importance or points 'of substance,' and the interests of justice did not require they be given leave to appeal.

The Irish Supreme Court's decision to dismiss their suit now clears the way for same-sex marriages to proceed.

According to Reuters, the two men could now appeal to the European Court of Justice, but 'such an eventuality is not likely in this case.'

Lyons was supported by the National Men's Council of Ireland, a right-wing Catholic group that believes that families should be hierarchical organizations under the leadership of the husband.

'The National Men's Council of Ireland, in keeping with the Irish Constitution, extols the virtue and value of the two-parent, Marriage-based [sic] family as the foundation of society,' the group says on its website.

'We hold that Marriage [sic] can only be the union of one man and one woman and is intended to be life-long. We decry unlicensed procreation and believe that the state and community should at all times promote and encourage the philosophy that sexual relations should be confined to lawful Marriage [sic].'

The group is not connected to the National Women's Council of Ireland, which is a feminist organization.

Lyons served jail time in 2009 for contempt of court after he refused to recognize a court-ordered separation from his wife. He claimed that the court had acted contrary to divine law.

Walshe appears not to be connected with right-wing Catholic groups. His complaint against Ireland's new marriage law was that the referendum campaign was not impartial, since nonprofits and public associations spent money taken from charitable donations to support the 'yes' side.

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