Friday 21 October 2016

New group backs No vote in marriage referendum unless children given right to access biological parents

Published 01/05/2015 | 13:39

First Families First is campaigning for a constitutional guarantee to be included in the referendum that would enforce the right of a child to have access to their biological parents.

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Backed by journalist John Waters and former MEP Kathy Sinnott, the group said it was concerned that the referendum, as proposed, would undermined the biological connection between parents and their children.

“On the issue of same sex marriage, my own personal view is that I support same sex marriage… [but] I'm opposed to the referendum that the Government has put forward and will be voting no on it,” said the group’s other foundering member Gerry Fahey.

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Speaking on Newstalk radio, Mr Faheny, who previously lobbied for a No vote in the Children’s Referendum in 2012, said he would vote yes if the Government include the amendment put forward by First Families First.

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“You have to look at all the sectional interests involved," he added.

The group argues that the language used in the upcoming same sex referendum "amounts to an act of vandalism against the Constitution".

Mr Fahey said there are differing views within the group on same sex marriage but they are against the referendum as it currently stands.

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Founder member John Waters told Newstalk that the text being put to a vote was an act of "constitutional vandalism".

“I think what we are proposing here is sensible and absolutely essential. It would be madness for this to go into the Constitutional. It would be insanity for the Irish people to knowingly vote this in,” he said, adding that he did not think Ireland would vote Yes when it realises the true impact such a vote would have.

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