Right to Marry

All citizens should have the right to marry the person they love.

"We met in 1981 at Boston College, when we both started the same PhD programme. A year later, we held a private ceremony with close friends to vow our life-partnership to each other. In April, 2001, we decided to seek legal recognition of that life-partnership in Ireland. As at present, no such legal recognition existed in the country and there was little public debate about partnership rights for same-sex couples. In September of 2003 we married each other in a legally valid civil ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia. After our return to Ireland, we applied to have our marriage recognized, just as any other couple might do who married abroad. We were denied that recognition and this shaped the legal action that we took. After we received permission to take a case against the Irish state, the KAL Advocacy Initiative was formed to support our battle. This has evolved into the MarriagEquality organisation in Ireland – the driver of a new social movement supporting civil marriage for gay and lesbian people. 

In 2006 the High Court heard our case to have our marriage recognized, and we lost both our case and the costs related to it. We have appealed to the Supreme Court, and still await a date."

 

Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone, Founders of CPC