Thursday, April 06, 2006

And here we go again

Yesterday Michael McDowell, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform announced the composition of the Working Group on Domestic Partnership.

The terms of reference of the group are narrow.

I see the establishment of this Working Group as a crucial step in the development of the debate on civil or domestic partnership. I have asked the Group to elaborate an analysis of the range of options available to the legislature for giving legal recognition to alternative forms of partnership or cohabitation, consistent with Constitutional provisions. I am confident that the work of the Group will prove a sound basis for the formulation of legislative proposals in this area.”

Noticeably the group will not be able to make recommendations for change which would go beyond current constitutional provisions.

This group’s formation comes after the following reports already written on the matter.

And the members of the group who are charged with deciding on matters that will effect the lives of thousands of same-sex and opposite sex non marital couples?

  • Anne Colley, Chair, (Solicitor and Current Chair of the Legal Aid Board

  • Eoin Collins, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network

  • Carmel Stewart, Family Lawyers Association

  • Eilis Barry, Equality Authority

  • Christine O’Rourke, Advisory Counsel, Attorney General’s Office

  • Vincent Palmer, Principal, Department of Finance

  • Helen Faughnan, Principal, Department of Social and Family Affairs

  • Kieran Feely, Department of Health and Children

  • Dr. Finola Kennedy, Economist

  • Niall McCutcheon, Principal, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

  • John Kenny, Principal, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

There is no representative on this group from a lone parents or unmarried parents group or a woman’s organisation or a lesbian organisation. Lesbian parents are not represented either. (Ah yes they are not really families according to the All Party Report on the Constitution and the Family)

It is interesting that the Department of Finance is represented on the group. Are we going to hear again about how much this will cost or maybe pigs will fly and it can be computed how much tax, inheritance, pension contributions and other monies unmarried couples have contributed and lost the benefit of due to the lack of equality afforded to them. Maybe the representative from Social Welfare will tell of the way in which same sex couples and survivors have lost out due to discrimination? Or the civil servant from Health document the many times that same sex partner has been denied access to their sick loved one?


At 17:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only the Dept of Finance but an economist - they must be scared that equality will cost the straights more tax !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 18:23, Blogger Suzy said...

Well this is not just any old economist....stay tuned to Maman Poulet for further news on this.

At 03:29, Blogger F said...

oh my God it's THE Finola Kennedy isn't it?

*hitting head against brick wall*

At 10:29, Blogger Suzy said...


At 19:10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is the Finola Kennedy?

At 19:29, Anonymous Hazel said...

One has to question why GLEN agreed to serve on a committee with Dr. Kennedy present. But maybe that is because there were no female activists around to advise them on her background?

I am sorely dissappointed at the lack of gender representation from the community that is most likely to be affected by any new legislation ie. the lesbian and gay community.

Suzy I note your reference to this but wondered why lesbian organisations have not been approached? Are we going to be legislated for and ignored? I also saw the TV coverage of the GLEN launch and was dissappointed to see so few women present. We are but a scant backdrop whilst the men organise the change according to their agenda.

Great blog by the way and I love the cat pics!!!

At 15:57, Blogger Suzy said...

More on Dr. Kennedy Can be found in my post


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