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NESF: In April 2003, the National Economic and Social Forum (NESF) published Report 27.
Equality Authority: In January 2001, the authority produced a report on same-sex partnerships in Ireland, which highlighted the lack of recognition for same-sex couples in Irish law.The basis for the limitation was that it would be easy for the courts to determine the validity of an opposite-sex relationship if there were children.This announcement came on the day after Belfast in Northern Ireland held the first of the new UK civil partnership registration ceremonies.In a departure from the norm, the report recommended legislative changes.These were to give legal recognition to same-sex couples, to provide equality with married couples in the areas of adoption, inheritance and taxation to eliminate discrimination.The Government said that it would legislate following the report, but Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also said there might not be time to do so before the then upcoming election.
Chaired by former TD Anne Colley, this working group included GLEN, the gay rights lobby organisation, who said they expected a recommendation for civil marriage.
It suggested that there should instead be legislation for a civil partnership registration open to same-sex or opposite-sex couples which would confer succession, maintenance and taxation rights.
Controversially, it also recommended that the 'presumed' recognition of cohabiting partners by the courts, as recommended by the Law Reform Commission, should also be legislated for, but only for opposite-sex couples.
The all-party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, Chairman Denis O'Donovan stated that it was examining these Articles to ascertain the extent to which they are serving the good of individuals and the community, with a view to deciding whether changes in them would bring about a greater balance between the two.
Among the many issues raised by the committee were the definition of the family and the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
The recommendations included calls for the Law Reform Commission to consider models to achieve equal rights for same-sex couples in its then upcoming report.