Marriage equality commencement order “brings down the curtain” on successful YesEquality coalition

The signature of the Marriage Act 2015 commencement order at Dublin Castle on 10 November 2015 makes full civil marriage equality for same sex couples a reality and “brings down the curtain” on the successful YesEquality coalition of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) and Marriage Equality.


The commencement order was signed by the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald TD, who steered the legislation through the Oireachtas. The Tanaiste, Joan Burton TD signed an accompanying regulation under the Civil Registration Act 2002.


The new legislation giving effect to the will of the people expressed in the marriage equality referendum will take effect from Monday 16 November 2015.



The YesEquality coalition was led by a Campaign Executive Group in which the three organisations were represented by ICCL Executive Director Mr Mark Kelly, GLEN Board member Kieran Rose and Marriage Equality Board member Ailbhe Smith, working closely with Grainne Healy of Marriage Equality and Brian Sheehan.  The campaign executive group appointed Grainne and Brian to run the day-to-day operational aspects of the final stages of the campaign.


Speaking as the Ministers signed the commencement order and regulation, ICCL Executive Director Mr Mark Kelly said:


“This dignified ceremony brings down the curtain on the highly-successful YesEquality coalition and makes marriage equality a reality. The ICCL is profoundly grateful to Ailbhe Smith of Marriage Equality and Kieran Rose of GLEN for their decades of dedicated advocacy in favour of full equality for same sex couples. The campaign stood on the shoulders of giants. We should also like to express our appreciation for the sheer hard graft of Grainne Healy and Brian Sheehan, especially during the last intensive weeks of the campaign, during which they served as co-directors of campaign operations.”


“A small army of volunteers at headquarters and across the country truly brought the campaign alive and it is thanks to them – and everyone who voted yes in May 2015 – that marriage equality will become the law of the land on 16 November 2015.”


The ICCL were represented at the signing ceremony by its Deputy Director, Deirdre Duffy, as well as by Stephen O’Hare, Senior Research and Policy Programme Manager and Emily Glen, Communications Officer.


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