Ireland's president, Mary McAleese, signed the country's Civil Partnership Bill into law Monday morning, offering same-sex couples protections that include access to pensions, inheritance, and power of attorney, among others.
The bill had been making its way through the various legislative bodies and McAleese was expected to sign it sometime in August. It is not expected to take effect until the fall.
"This is a great day for Ireland. Lesbian and gay people, their parents, families, friends neighbors, colleagues can now look forward to celebrating their civil partnerships in the near future," said Kieran Rose of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network. "It is a tribute to the openness and welcoming nature of Irish society and the commitment of all our legislators and is a major civil rights milestone for lesbian and gay people."
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