Blog Archive | Justice

62% Voted in Favour of Marriage Equality!

Posted on May 25, 2015

Irish Times May 25th, on the podium at the Declaration, Dublin Castle

Ireland said Yes to civil marriage equality for same-sex couples! 

In what can only be described as a landslide victory we saw a huge turnout around the country - 62% voted in favour of extending civil marriage to same-sex couples. 

It was a great day for Ireland, for democracy and for every Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender person and their friends and families. 

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/same-sex-marriage-may-be-legal-by-september-1.2224563

Irish Times coverage Monday 25th May 2015.

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Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionEqualityEurope/InternationalHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsSocial PolicyWomen's Rights

2 days to go - let's all do what we can! #MarRef

Posted on May 20, 2015

Dublin Bay South canvass

Dear Supporters,

With just two days to go until the Marriage Equality referendum this Friday 22nd May, (7am-10pm) I am asking you to help ensure a high turnout and a majority vote in favour of this vital referendum which would enable gay couples to marry. I am out canvassing for a Yes vote every day, and I believe it could be very close. You will see below the text of an article I wrote that was published last week in the Irish Times, setting out my arguments for the referendum and responses to the No side  - "Three Reasons to Vote Yes-and Three Reasons Not to Vote No". 

You may find it helpful in persuading family and friends to support the referendum.

Please do your best over the next two days to help ensure that this referendum is passed, and most importantly don't forget to vote yourself on Friday!

Very best wishes,
Ivana


"Three Reasons to Vote Yes - and Three Reasons Not to Vote No
The marriage equality referendum debate has become increasingly intense in recent weeks, so it’s important to focus on the core issues at stake. Three key reasons to vote Yes.
1 Gay couples would be able to get married. The referendum, if passed, would allow gay couples to get married. It would insert the following 17 words into the Constitution: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” This new sentence would not define or redefine marriage. The constitutional protections for the “Family” and for the institution of marriage, on which the “Family” is founded, would both remain in place. But for the first time our gay sisters and brothers would have the same right to form a constitutional family that we heterosexuals take for granted.
2 We would have a more equal Ireland. If the referendum is passed, Ireland would join a growing European and international consensus that there is no valid legal basis on which to discriminate against same-sex couples. It would be an immensely positive vote for a more tolerant, inclusive and compassionate society.
3 The rights of children would be strengthened and affirmed. If passed, the referendum would affirm that the small number of children currently being brought up by same-sex couples could become part of a constitutionally protected family, valued by Irish society on an equal basis with other families. It would also reassure children who are themselves gay or lesbian that they are equal in law with their heterosexual siblings and friends. Then this nation really would cherish all its children equally – as promised in the 1916 Proclamation.
These are the key issues in the referendum – and the three most important reasons to vote Yes.

Three reasons not to vote No Here are three further reasons for a Yes vote – to reject the bogus claims being made by the No side.
1 Civil partnership is not equality. Civil partnership is not the same as civil marriage. It has no constitutional protection, and is only available to same-sex couples. The status, rights and responsibilities of civil partners can be changed at any time through legislation. Because civil partnership does not have constitutional status, access to it does not confer equal status with civil marriage.
2 This referendum will not affect adoption/ assisted human reproduction/surrogacy or child welfare laws. The No side argues that if same-sex couples are allowed to marry, they would automatically get a constitutional right to procreate using AHR or surrogacy – and that the Oireachtas would then be unable to legislate to differentiate between married gay or straight couples in respect of access to AHR or surrogacy.
There is absolutely no basis to this argument.
First, it ignores two key realities: a. the vast majority of couples availing of AHR or surrogacy at present are heterosexual; and b. there is no requirement that a person be married before they may avail of such services.
Second, there is no absolute right to procreation, even for heterosexual married couples. In the one case in which the Supreme Court has addressed this issue, Murray v Ireland, the court held that the State could negate the right of a married couple to engage in natural procreation, since they were both in prison. The courts have never recognised any right to procreate using donor eggs or sperm for heterosexual couples, married or not.
Third, any legislation concerning children will always be subject to the overriding “best interests of the child” principle enshrined in article 42A of the Constitution, which must be the primary focus of any legal regulation of parenting, including regulation of adoption, AHR or surrogacy.
The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, for example, provides already that gay couples may adopt, subject to this principle. Geoffrey Shannon, chair of the Adoption Authority, has confirmed that the adoption process will remain the same, regardless of the referendum’s outcome.
Similarly, the 2015 Act already provides for strict regulation of donor-assisted reproduction, and prohibits anonymous sperm donation. This will be unaffected by the referendum. Finally, whether the referendum is passed or not, the Oireachtas may prohibit or restrict access to surrogacy through legislation.
3 This referendum will not affect teaching in religious-run schools Some argue that religious schools may be sanctioned if they do not change their teaching to recognise same-sex marriage. This is ridiculous. The referendum is only about civil marriage; religions and religious-run schools will remain free to teach in accordance with their ethos. When civil divorce was introduced in 1995, this did not affect Catholic teaching on marriage.
This referendum is simply about equality; the equal right of same-sex couples to marry.
So let’s support our gay friends and relatives on 22nd May with a resounding Yes.
Ivana Bacik is Senator for Dublin University and Reid professor of criminal law at Trinity College Dublin."

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Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionEqualityEurope/InternationalHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsSocial Policy

Marriage Equality Referendum: No Room for Complacency!

Posted on May 11, 2015

Out on the Marriage Equality Referendum canvass

Equality is good for everybody! 

With just 11 days to go we must all do our best to secure the Yes Votes! 

Good article from my Labour Party colleague and former Tanaiste and Party Leader, Eamon Gilmore in today's Irish Times and on Sunday at the Arbour Hill Commemorative Gathering Joan Burton spoke passionately about  the importance of winning this referendum and achieving more equality! Let's #MakeItHappen 

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/gilmore-warns-against-referendum-complacency-1.2207963

 

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionEqualityHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsSocial PolicyWomen's Rights

Burren Law School 2015

Posted on May 05, 2015

Burren Law School speakers

Burren Law School 2015 - 'Privacy in the 21st Century'

May 1-3, 2015

Another great gathering in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare of legal minds, literary giants, NGO workers, historians, politicians, educators, artists and many more. The Burren Law School is an annual conference which aims to recreate the tradition of legal learning associated with the Brehon Law Schools, allowing the past to illuminate the present in what is characteristically a very stimulating weekend. 

This year the working title was 'Privacy in the 21st Century', we had some great discussions,  illuminating presentations and were honoured to have such guest speakers as;

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Posted in: ConstitutionCulture & ArtsEqualityEurope/InternationalHuman RightsJusticeNewsResearchSocial Policy

Referendum Commission 2015 - independent guides to casting your vote

Posted on April 27, 2015

240x160_ivanabacik

 

On Friday 22nd May 2015 (7am-10pm) citizens of the Republic of Ireland will be asked to play their part in shaping our democracy by casting their votes on two important questions. Here are the links to the independent guides published by the Referendum Commission 2015. You can watch or listen to the video (with sign language) or download the pdf files in both English and Irish. 

http://refcom2015.ie/

http://refcom2015.ie/english_guide.pdf

http://refcom2015.ie/irish_guide.pdf

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionEducationEqualityHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsSocial PolicyWomen's Rights

You Tube video: Safe Ireland 'The lawlessness of the home' Report launch Ivana Bacik

Posted on April 27, 2015

Safe Ireland report launch. Image taken by Cyril Byrne Irish Times

Safe Ireland 'The lawlessness of the home' launch Ivana Bacik

30th March 2015

I had the great privilege of being asked to launch the Safe Ireland 'The lawlessness of the home' Report on behalf of the Minister for Justice & Equality. Here is a You Tube link to my opening address.

#DomesticViolence

 

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionEducationEqualityEurope/InternationalHealthHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsResearchSocial PolicyWomen's Rights

Press Release: SENATOR BACIK CALLS FOR INTRODUCTION OF MEDIATION BILL

Posted on April 24, 2015

240x160_ivanabacik

SENATOR BACIK CALLS FOR INTRODUCTION OF MEDIATION BILL

Senator Ivana Bacik, Labour Leader, Seanad Spokesperson on Justice

Thursday 24th April, 2015

Today I'm speaking at the AGM and Annual Lunch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in Dublin today, Senator where I will call for the introduction without further delay of the long-promised Mediation Bill.

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Posted in: ConstitutionEqualityEurope/InternationalHuman RightsJusticeNewsSeanadSocial Policy

National Integration Strategy Motion - Polska Éire

Posted on April 24, 2015

Polska Éire festival organisers visit for motion on integration and new communities

National Integration Strategy: Motion

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Acting Chairman (Senator Terry Leyden):   I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

Senator Ivana Bacik:   I move: That Seanad Éireann:- welcomes the establishment by the Government of the new office of Minister of State for new communities, culture and equality;

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Posted in: Culture & ArtsEconomyEqualityEurope/InternationalHuman RightsJusticeNewsSeanadSocial Policy

Order of Business: Yes Equality Campaign Bus Tour Launch gets a mention

Posted on April 22, 2015

Yes Equality Campaign Bus Tour Launch

http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/seanad2015042200002?opendocument#A00100

Order of Business

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

I was delighted to attend just now the launch of the Yes Equality bus which will be making a nationwide tour over the coming four weeks. It will be calling for a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum on 22 May. We have debated this issue already in this House, of course, but I ask colleagues to keep an eye out for the bus when it visits their local area and to tweet if they see it.

#YesEquality #BusTour 

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionCulture & ArtsEqualityHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsSeanadSocial PolicyWomen's Rights

YouTube Video: Marriage Equality Bill 2015 - Second Stage Contribution

Posted on March 30, 2015

Labour Party launch Marriage Equality Referendum,February, Liberty Hall

Watch this short video of my Seanad contribution as I join my colleagues in support of the Marriage Equality Bill 2015 in the Second Stage debates.

A hugely proud time for all of us, for my Party, for my colleagues and for all of us who are tirelessly working to achieve equality for LGBT couples and their families.

#History #YesEquality #May22 #Referendum

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAqLCNR2htc&feature=youtu.be

Posted in: ChildrenConstitutionEqualityEurope/InternationalHuman RightsJusticeLGBT RightsNewsSeanadSocial PolicyWomen's Rights

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