KAL Case: Katherine and Ann Louise look forward to positive outcome to case

August 1, 2006

July 31, 2006

October 3rd, 2006 was today confirmed as the opening date for the case being brought by Drs Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan, the same sex couple seeking recognition of their marriage in Ireland.

The couple said that they are looking forward to a positive outcome to their case despite the news today that a lesbian couple failed in their bid to have their Canadian marriage as a civil marriage in the UK. Drs Zappone and Gilligan said that Ireland now has an opportunity to lead rather than simply follow in the area of social justice.

The UK judge ruled that the marriage of Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson should be recognized as a civil partnership, but not as a marriage.

While civil partnership might allow same sex couples a broad range of marriage-like privileges, it does not confer equality of status and equality of rights on all Irish citizens, Drs. Zappone and Gilligan outlined.

“We are already married,” they stated. “The primary way the State can promote and protect the rights and responsibilities of all its citizens – straight and same sex – in financial and familial issues is to open the Irish institution of civil marriage to same sex couples.”

They also pointed out that the traditional institution of marriage has in fact changed over time. For example, divorce was introduced in Ireland in 1997 which required a constitutional change. They stated that they are looking for a continuation of this social process of change in marriage so that it can be enjoyed by all members of today’s modern society.

Drs. Zappone and Gilligan were married in a civil ceremony in Canada on September 13th, 2003. Their marriage is valid for all purposes in Canada.

At the hearing of their action in October, Drs Zappone and Gilligan will seek a declaration that in failing to recognise their Canadian marriage, and in failing to apply the tax law provisions relating to married couples to them as a married couple, the State and the Revenue Commissioners have acted unlawfully, in breach of their Constitutional Rights and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. They are also seeking a declaration that the relevant provisions of tax law are unconstitutional and void. If they do not get recognition of their Canadian marriage, they are alternatively seeking a declaration that they are entitled to marry each other in Ireland.

KAL Case website


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