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Ireland’s first same-sex civil partnership planned

A new law legally recognizing gay couples comes into effect on January 1, securing a range of rights over shared homes, maintenance payments and pensions.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said the new legal status reflects the many forms of relationships in modern Irish society. “Gay couples, whose relationships have not previously been given legal recognition by the State, may now formalize their relationships in the eyes of the law and society at large,” he said.

But parties have to give three months’ notice to registrars, so the first ceremony is expected to be in April. While couples must give such a long notice to registrars, a court order to waive the notice period for exceptional reasons, like in the event of serious illness, can be obtained.

On registration of a civil partnership, the couple will be treated in the same way as spouses under the tax and social welfare codes.

(via West Sussex Gazette)