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Perhaps the most bizarre and particularly dangerous contribution to the marriage referendum debate was from the Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin who indicated that if same sex marriage is introduced clergy might withdraw from conducting civil marriages.
The only marriage recognised by the state is one conducted in accordance with the civil marriage laws, the current one being the Civil Registration Act, 2004. What happens in churches is irrelevant except where the officiant is a registered solemniser of marriage and conducts the civil ceremony simultaneously with the religious one.
A religious ceremony on its own is ineffective. Couples planning to marry in church should therefore ensure that the officiant is a registered solemniser and conducts the marriage in full compliance with the civil requirements.
Failure to do so will leave the couple unmarried with disastrous consequence for them in the area of taxation and succession.
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