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Bill incompatible with a democratic society

I WRITE in support of Fr Tom Ingoldsby’s stance on the Civil Partnership Bill relating to cohabitants (Letters, June 23). The bill proposes to put property rights on an equal footing with marriage for cohabiting couples of five years.

The measure will affect pensions, employment equality and equal status acts by replacing the words “marital status” with “civil status”.

If photographers object to taking pictures of the wedding of such couples they could breach the Equality Status Act.

The bill imposes a €2,000 fine and six months imprisonment on church registrars who refuse to facilitate such civil partnerships.

Evangelical pastors and the IFA have voiced their concerns while Catholic bishops described it as “an extraordinary and far-reaching attack on freedom of conscience”.

The bill is incompatible with a democratic society and has the potential for legal wrangling.

Gerry Coughlan

Parkhill West

Kilnamanagh

Dublin 24


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