I can't help but notice how it is assumed that unmarried het couples are going to be allowed to benefit from the new registration for (mainly ) gay couples. These guys already have the option of the priveliged state of marriage open to them, so why ar we offering them something extra in addition to what they already have? If they've rejected marriage then why should we give them another option?
The whole point of civil partnership and marriage for gay couples is to offer a level of support and privelige that at the moment does not exist and is not open to them. If heterosexuals choose to ignore or reject privelige for whatever reason, well that is their problem. I don't see why they should piggyback on the backs of the gay community who have worked very hard over the years to point out the very severe effects of having no options.
I know a lot of straight people don't use the option of marriage because quite frankly, its far easier to disentangle yourself from a broken up informal relationship than it is a formal one. But the option is and has been there for all of them, certainly since divorce became enshrined in law anyway. So why give them even more? If that is done then all we are doing is further priveliging an already hyperprotected het class with extra options.
By the way, I'm saddened that there appears to be such a split in the community over whether or not we get civil partnerships or gay marriage in Ireland. I don't think its hugely relevant as long as the level of protection available is not overrideen by the law in circumstances when pitted against a previous marriage for example. If the same tax breaks and inheritance laws are applied to gay couples then we'll have come a long way. What they call it isn't totally relevant, except maybe for them.
The only area where I can see a concern is in a child custody case if a formerly married couple were battling and one of them is now in a civil partnership. This is really where we have to make sure that these rights are not extended to hets, because if they are, then it is a clear indication that civil partnership IS a second class solution (again, as I have said before, if the hets CHOOSE second class citizenship, thats their problem).