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Power, resistance and identity in twenty-first-century Ireland
Series: Irish Society
Editors: Rosie Meade and Fiona Dukelow

This book analyses and critiques Irish society in the early twenty-first century, but seeks to do so by consciously avoiding myth-making and generalisation. It invites readers to revisit and rethink twelve events that span the years 2001-2009. It shows that all of these events reveal crucial intersections of structural power and resistance in contemporary Ireland. The book shows how the events carry traces of both social structure and human agency. They were shaped by overarching political, economic, social and cultural currents; but they were also responses to proposals, protests, advocacy and demands that have been articulated by a broad spectrum of social actors. The book also explores how power works ideologically and through policy instruments to support dominant models of capital accumulation. Identities are constructed at the interface between public policy, collective commitments and individual biographies. They mobilise both power and resistance, as they move beyond the realm of the personal and become focal points for debates about rights, responsibilities, resources and even the borders of the nation itself. The book suggests that conceptions of Irish identity and citizenship are being redrawn in more positive ways. Family is the cornerstone, the natural, primary and fundamental unit group of society. Marriage is the religious, cultural, commercial, and political institution that defines and embeds its values. The book presents a 2004 High Court case taken by Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan for legal recognition of their marriage as a same-sex couple, which had taken place a year previously in Canada.

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A new direction
Sonja Tiernan

4 Marriage Equality: A new direction Recently formed Marriage Equality had a mammoth task ahead to shift the public and political focus from civil partnerships to civil marriage. The organisation advocated through a developed approach employing four inter-connected strategies.1 The first strategy, which was to become the most noticeable aspect of the campaign, was communications. The aim here was to improve LGBT visibility and justify why same-sex couples could only achieve equality through access to civil marriage. The second strategy was political engagement

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
Sonja Tiernan

restricted to same-sex couples. It was a clever move to present the bill in this way; as Ivana Bacik pointed out, ‘Private Members’ bills signify the change in thinking and then eventually are adopted by the government, or the principle is adopted by the government.’1 Although this was not civil marriage, Brian Sheehan of GLEN recognised it as ‘marriage in all but name in a legal consequence’.2 After much deliberation GLEN agreed to support the Civil Unions Bill; however, it remained committed to its now ultimate goal of achieving civil marriage. The Civil Unions Bill was

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
Love and (same-sex) marriage in the twenty-first century
Angela O’Connell

and public state for many people. Same-sex marriage disrupts the gendering of marriage and so threatens the familiar social and economic order. However, the twenty-first century has witnessed a major increase in public support for marriage rights for same-sex couples, and this chapter will trace how an apparently isolated court case grew into a new social movement. The focal point of this chapter is the 2004 High Court case taken by Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan (the KAL case) for legal recognition of their marriage as a same-sex couple, which

in Defining events
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Future directions
Sonja Tiernan

Afterword: Future directions In the final six weeks of 2015, ninety-one same-sex couples were legally married in Ireland. Forty-seven male couples and forty-four female couples were finally able to have their relationships legally recognised. The following year the Central Statistics Office compiled a full year of recorded marriages. In 2016, out of a total of 22,626 marriages in Ireland 1,056 were marriages by same-sex couples, accounting for almost one in twenty of all marriages, or 4.7 per cent. Civil ceremonies were the most popular route, with over 80 per

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
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The same-sex unions revolution, its past and future
Kelly Kollman

Kollman 07_Tonra 01 03/12/2012 13:29 Page 183 7 Conclusions: the same-sex unions revolution, its past and future When Argentina became the first Latin American country to open marriage to same-sex couples in 2010, regional scholars of LGBT politics were quick to point out the role that ‘transnational legalism’ played in this outcome (Corrales and Pecheny, 2010a; Piatti-Crocker, 2010). Observers of LGBT politics in South Africa, which opened marriage in 2006, similarly highlight the importance of the ‘global opportunity structure’ in their explanation of the

in The same-sex unions revolution in western democracies
Sonja Tiernan

.indd 100 07/02/2020 12:26 the campaign in action101 In March, the Referendum Commission launched its awareness campaign, including an independent guide published in booklet form and distributed to over two million homes in the Irish State. The guide contained a short description of each proposed constitutional amendment. Regarding the question of extending civil marriage to same-sex couples, it explained that ‘the Constitution does not define marriage and it does not set out who is entitled to marry or who is not entitled to marry. The rules about who is entitled to

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
Sonja Tiernan

Constitution. In April 2013, delegates at the convention had overwhelmingly called for a constitutional change to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples and, significantly, to include amendments for parental rights in this regard. This outcome was seen as a reflection of public opinion across Ireland. After the results were made public, Gilmore expressed his satisfaction, reiterating that ‘our laws reflect the past, not the future’.2 On this issue in particular, Gilmore continued that ‘it’s not the role of the State to pass judgement on who a person falls in love with, or

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
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A social revolution begins
Sonja Tiernan

Introduction: A social revolution begins On Saturday 23 May 2015, events in Ireland shot onto the global stage. Televisions across the world beamed images of people taking to the streets of the capital city and across the twenty-six counties in celebration, in tears and in solidarity. Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, described it as a ‘spontaneous carnival that broke out in Dublin Castle and the surrounding streets’.1 Ireland had become the first country in the world to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples through a public vote. This was a

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
Kelly Kollman

Kollman 02_Tonra 01 03/12/2012 12:15 Page 23 2 Sexual citizenship, LGBT movements and the relationship recognition debate in western democracies Since the late 1980s state recognition of same-sex couples, and more recently the opening of marriage, have become the central focus of LGBT rights movements in almost all western societies. Although the idea is not entirely new, this focus on relationship recognition does represent a significant change in the prioritisation of movement goals from the 1970s and 1980s. This shift has occurred despite the fact that in

in The same-sex unions revolution in western democracies