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Dublin - Event Notice
Saturday December 05 2009
12:35 PM

Civil Partnership Train

category dublin | gender and sexuality | event notice author Thursday November 19, 2009 12:45author by Chug Chug Report this post to the editors

The Civil Partnership Train is a civil rights initiative inspired by the landmark Belfast to Dublin ‘Contraceptive train’ of 1971 and the historic ‘Peace train’ of 1989. According to Dr Richard O’Leary of the Civil Partnership Train “The purpose of the Civil Partnership Train is to highlight the second class legal status of gay and lesbian couples in Dublin compared to Belfast, a situation which will continue unless the Irish government’s Civil Partnership Bill is upgraded”. Supporters include the Revd. Chris Hudson and Irish Senator David Norris, both of the earlier Peace Train movement.

It is supported by persons North and South, gay, lesbian and heterosexual, Protestant, Catholic, other religions and no religion, who are committed to challenging discrimination and prejudice against gay and lesbian couples in Ireland.

Of particular interest is the proposed ‘Christian conscience’ amendment to the Bill which could give an opt-out to state-employed civil registrars who objected to same-sex civil partnerships, and would also be a defence for florists, hoteliers etc who didn't wish to serve gay or lesbian customers. According to Canon Charles Kenny a spokesperson for the Civil Partnership Train “There are many Christians who are angry and embarrassed at other Christians lining up to thwart the legitimate aspirations of loving couples who happen to be gay or lesbian”. No such opt-out to objectors was conceded in the Civil Partnership legislation in Northern Ireland. So for the Irish Government to offer one would amount to a failure to live up to its commitment under the Good Friday Agreement to provide equivalent protection of rights.

The four objectives of the Civil Partnership Train are to encourage the Irish Government to:

IMPLEMENT fully the Good Friday Agreement in the Republic of Ireland and to meet its commitment in the Agreement to provide in the Republic “at least an equivalent level of protection of human rights as will pertain in Northern Ireland”.

UPGRADE the Civil Partnership Bill to provide parenting rights for gay and lesbian couples equal with those in Northern Ireland.

INCLUDE in the Bill recognition of widowed same-sex partners who obtained their Civil Partnership overseas or in Britain or Northern Ireland since 2005.

STOP the proposed amendment to the Bill for an anti-gay opt-out on the grounds of ‘Christian conscience’. The proposed opt-out was not conceded in Northern Ireland.

You can support the objectives above by travelling with us on the train departing from Belfast to Dublin on Saturday 5th December 2009 at 12.35hrs, which we are describing to be a Civil Partnership Train

For persons beginning the journey from Belfast:

Book your own tickets individually as a normal journey by going to the NI railways website www.translink.co.uk and selecting the 12.35hrs train to Dublin (you can suit yourself as to the return journey time although most of us will return on the 19.00hrs train from Dublin). BOOK NOW – there are currently very cheap day return fares available at £7.50 return, but these may soon be sold to other travellers on the train. Booking on line gives you a voucher to be redeemed for a ticket at the train station on the day of travel. Once you have bought your voucher/ticket on the internet, please let us know so that we will have some idea of the number of supporters who will be travelling on the ‘Civil Partnership’ train with us. On the day itself, please Assemble at Belfast central station at 11.45hrs. CP train supporters should first occupy the unreserved seating in the carriage behind the dining car.

For persons beginning the journey in Dublin:

Book your own tickets individually as a normal journey by going to the Irish rail website www.irishrail.ie and selecting the 9.35hrs train to Belfast and the 12.35hrs train returning from Belfast. BOOK NOW – there are currently cheap day return fares available at E20 return, but these may soon be sold to other travellers on the train. Once you have made your booking, please let us know so that we will have some idea of the number of supporters who will be travelling on the ‘Civil Partnership’ train with us.

Related Link: http://www.changingattitudeireland.org/
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