It's not actual marriage, but it's more than The Gays in The Land Of The Free are allowed.
In Ireland, of all places, that bastion of Catholicism, the Civil Partnership Bill, which provides legal recognition for same-sex couples, was signed into law today by President Mary McAleese.
The new law extends marriage-like, or -lite, benefits to gay and lesbian couples in the areas of property, social welfare, succession, maintenance, pensions and tax.
Announcing the signing of the Bill, Minister for Justice--we could use a minister for justice here--Dermot Ahern called it "one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence...[and]...provides enhanced rights and protections for many thousands of Irish men and women. Ireland will be a better place for its enactment..."It is of tremendous social significance, for the couples who can now register as partners, for their friends and families - ultimately, for all of us."
Preach it, Dermot!
And maybe try to get someone across the pond to preach it here.