Legislation giving effect to civil partnerships has passed all stages in the Seanad by 48 to four votes.

Dozens of proposed amendments to the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Bill were due to be discussed.

The Seanad rejected, without a vote, an amendment that would have allowed Registrars opt-out of presiding over civil partnership ceremonies.

The so-called 'conscientious object' amendment had been tabled by Independent Senator Rónán Mullen, however the matter was not put to a vote because not enough Senators called for one.

Senators spent three hours discussing the amendment, in total there were 77 amendments down for discussion.