Ahern commits to same-sex legislation
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has indicated the Government's commitment to introducing legislation to recognise same-sex partnerships.
In an interview in the latest edition of Gay Community News, Bertie Ahern said he wants to legislate on the issue before the next general election.
Earlier this month, at the launch of the new offices of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), the Taoiseach said that sexual orientation "cannot, and must not, be the basis of second class citizenship", and that laws would continue to change to reflect this principle.
The Taoiseach's commitment was widely welcomed by gay rights groups. "It is an important step forward. [Legislation] would greatly improve the status and quality of life for lesbian and gay people in a very short period of time," said Brian Sheehan of GLEN. "We have global ambitions for our society and our economy and should be equally ambitious for social progress by becoming the sixth country in the world to open out civil marriage to gay people."