(Dublin) The Irish government has announced it will fight a suit brought by a lesbian couple married in Canada who want to have their marriage recognized.
Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone were married in British Columbia in September 2003 within months of the legalization of same-sex marriage there.
The couple is demanding that Ireland's tax collection agency, the Revenue Commissioners, allow them to file as a married couple rather than as two single people, which involves paying more tax.
Last November a judge ruled that their suit could go forward. High Court Justice Liam McKechnie said lawyers representing Gilligan and Zappone had presented an arguable case that merited a full hearing.
McKechnie said the case "isn't simply about tax bands.'' He noted that in a country where homosexuality itself was outlawed until 1993, any move to accord gay couples the same legal rights as husbands and wives would have "profound ethical, cultural and religious'' ramifications.
The case is expected to be heard by the court later this year.