Legal Pagan Handfastings for Same-sex couples?

Here’s a post I made to An Fainne’s group concerning the recent ascension of Pagan Federation Ireland’s Raymond Sweeney to the list of Registered Solemnisers at the General Registrar’s Office, no. 5392 on the list is Pagan Federation Ireland.


It raises some questions as to the position of LGBT people seeking to be Handfasted in the Republic of Ireland. I’m still awaiting a response and so in the meantime I shall work on a post about the new developments as to be fair these were made back in January. Let me know thoughts, was I too harsh? Not harsh enough?
K. has raised some interesting points with regard to same-sex couples. As a gay, pagan myself I would like to hear some clarity on the issue of how the new status for groups such as Pagan Fed Ireland and for gay/bi-sexual pagans. For many a religious/cultural recognition of their union is more than sufficient and I dare say for myself it would as well but I like many know a lot of gay/bi people who through former relationships have children and depending on other factors full civil marriage also recognizes them as family [cultural recognition that is] but it also serves to provide insurance in case something may happen. In some cases there are both biological parents active and loving in the child[ren]’s lives they are subject to unnecessary hurdles.
As you can imagine while many of my fellow brothers and sisters are rejoicing for yet another achievement once again I’m left in a limbo. And while I don’t hold PFI accountable for the State’s actions they are the only lobbying power we have in Ireland as persons who identify as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning). In case any are curious MarriagEquality are the group spear heading the movement to have Civil Marriage extended to Same-Sex couples. While there has been much discussion in Dail Eireann on Civil Partnership Bills there has been nothing concrete brought forward. We got close in December but our shambles of a Government had many TDs leaving for Christmas break. Civil Partnership does not cover Family Status and the only thing that can is full Civil Marriage (civil as opposed to religious or cultural) and therefore, people’s families are not protected. Many LGBTQ persons do acknowledge that a Civil Partnership Bill would be a stepping stone towards Civil Marriage but its far from the ideal a explained.
Some clarity would be greatly appreciated, so if PFI could release a statement addressing their stance of Civil Marriage being extended to same-sex couples it would be wonderful.

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3 Replies to “Legal Pagan Handfastings for Same-sex couples?”

  1. I thought it was reasonable Niall, I asked Ray what types of marriage it would recignise and would it retroactively recignise pagan marriages but he said no. Its just the heteronormative marriage and only those Ray and other trained people marry in the future.Can it really be called a pagan marriage when it doesnt recignise the unions of people like the Farrars and gavin bone some of the most famous pagans in the world who currently live on our Island? Its a question but the PFI marriage thing opens doors for same sex marriages as a religious right. After all we seem to mirror finland more historically and culturally then we do the US. I think its more likely that we'd get same sex marriage through on religious grounds like they did.What was worse then a religious biggot here even prior to 911 when that whole zealot issue became demonized.

  2. Hey James, thanks for your post as always some interesting thoughts and ideas there. Ray very kindly contacted me off list and we're currently conversing with ideas and points of view.I do want to remain conscientious that Ray and members of PF Ireland have been tirelessly campaigning for 5 years on this issue already and so I do not intend to make him the target. As Ray points out [personal emails] there are other groups who have equally been contributing to advance Pagan presence and lobbying but with any hope as the only organisation with Solemniser status perhaps the focus can spur many others on to add their voices to the proceedings.I'll issue another post on here in a few days time. I'm just back from a trip and way too exhausted right now.

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