Second Stage debate has resumed on the Civil Partnership Bill in the Dáil.
The Bill aims to provide a statutory registration scheme for same-sex couples together with a range of new rights and protections.
Fianna Fáil TD Michael Fitzpatrick told the Dáil that certain distinctions will however remain between married heterosexual couples and couples in civil partnerships.
He said there will be no provision in the Bill for the adoption of children by couples in a civil partnership, for example.
He said there are other, less publicised, elements to the legislation.
In particular, certain financial provisions for co-habiting couples, whether same-sex or heterosexual, who have no legal standing in Irish law and who have no legal protection in the event of a relationship break-up.
He said the Bill will provide for a financially dependent co-habitant to apply to court for maintenance or for a property or pension adjustment order, in the event of the relationship ending, whether by break-up or death.