Dáil debates

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

An Bille um an gCeathrú Leasú is Tríocha ar an mBunreacht (Comhionannas Pósta) 2015: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015: Committee and Remaining Stages

 

11:40 am

Photo of Michael KittMichael Kitt (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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The usual practice in Bills to amend the Constitution is that consideration of the sections is postponed until consideration of the Schedule has been completed as the sections are merely technical and the main object of the legislation is contained in the Schedule. Is that agreed? Agreed.

AN SCEIDEAL SCHEDULE

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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Tairgim leasú a 1:

I gCuid 1, leathanach 7, líne 3 a scriosadh agus an méid seo a leanas a chur ina hionad:

“4 Féadfaidh beirt, gan beann ar a ngnéas, conradh pósta a dhéanamh de réir dlí.”.
I move amendment No. 1:
In Part 1, page 6, to delete line 3 and substitute the following:

“4 Féadfaidh beirt, gan beann ar a ngnéas, conradh pósta a dhéanamh de réir dlí.”.
Since the publication of the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment, some media commentators have raised issues regarding the Irish version of the text. Their principal argument is that the Irish version of the text carries the risk of applying only to same-sex couples - that it would provide for marriage only between same sex couples. The Oireachtas translation service is of the view that the Irish version as produced is robust and encompasses a right to marry for opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples. The Irish wording in the published Bill was produced by the Oireachtas translation service, building on the existing precedent of the Irish language version of "without distinction of sex" used in Article 16 of the Constitution. The Government, however, is moving the amendment to the Irish wording of the proposed thirty-fourth amendment so that the new Irish wording will be a more literal translation of the English wording, which is "Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex." This is to try to ensure that the sole focus of the debate will be on the wording proposed to be inserted in the Constitution rather than whether there may be differences between the Irish and English language versions.

The new wording is as recommended by the Oireachtas translation service and I have briefed the Opposition on the issue.

The following are the key elements of the amendment proposed to the Irish wording. The phrase "cibé acu is fir nó mná iad" would be replaced with the phrase "gan beann ar a ngnéas". That phrase is a more literal rendering and one which is without distinction as to their sex. The phrase, which translates literally as "without regard to", has been previously used in a proposed article 42A in relation to children.

The phrase "conradh pósta a dhéanamh" would replace the phrase "conradh a dhéanamh i leith pósadh". That is intended to clarify that the provision only relates to contracts of marriage, and to remove any possibility that it could be taken as referring to other contracts relating to marriage, such as pre-nuptial contracts.

Aontaíodh an leasú.

Amendment agreed to.

Aontaíodh an Sceideal mar a leasaíodh.

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Aontaíodh ailt 1 agus 2.

Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.

Aontaíodh an Teideal.

Title agreed to.

Tuairiscíodh an Bille le leasuithe, glacadh é chun an breithniú deiridh a dhéanamh air agus ritheadh é.

Bill reported with amendment, received for final consideration and passed.