Friday 21 October 2016

Don't vote 'Yes' in same-sex referendum because you feel sorry for gay people - Arnold

Published 09/04/2015 | 02:30

Former Irish Independent journalist Bruce Arnold
Former Irish Independent journalist Bruce Arnold

Journalist Bruce Arnold says people should not vote Yes in the same-sex marriage referendum just because they feel sorry for the gay community.

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He said much of the current support for the proposal is based on latent misplaced sympathy for homosexuals because of how they have been treated in Ireland in the past.

"I would say to people, don't vote for the wrong reasons. You should vote after asking yourself how this impacts on you," he said.

The journalist who was bugged by the Haughey Government added that Fine Gael and Labour are "worse guardians" of the State than Fianna Fáil because of their rush to pass the same-sex marriage referendum.

Mr Arnold, who was one of two journalists to have his phone bugged by Mr Haughey's administration in the early 1980s, has published a new study paper in opposition to the "dangerous" referendum along with other members of a Christian group called the Pauline Circle.

The new Private Study Paper has warned about the referendum's potential impact on the institution of marriage.

"The referendum has all the hallmarks of a needless and reckless social experiment, driven by an irrational ideology.

"The real victims in this debate are the children who in order to satisfy adult emotional demands, will be deprived of all contact with their natural parents and siblings," it added.

"The proposition is based on a "spurious claim of equality which simply does not stand up to scrutiny," the paper said.

"Homosexual unions and heterosexual unions are not equivalent social entities for the purposes of society and the State," the paper argued, adding that the proposal would change the nature of marriage so radically - for everyone - that only the name would remain.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Arnold said his primary target in the paper is the politicians who are driving this proposal.

"This paper attempts to fill the gap caused by the failure of the Government to publish a Green Paper or White Paper that would examine the many unforeseen and unintended consequences of its same-sex marriage proposal."

He described Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald as being "well below capacity" in her handling of the proposal.

Ms Fitzgerald has argued that the referendum is about giving equality to those who don't currently have it.

"It is about removing the barriers which deny some couples the chance of marrying and of having relationships that are constitutionally protected.

"The question is whether or not a new category of couples can have an equal right to marrying and to enjoying the protection of marriage afforded by the Constitution," she said.

Mr Arnold also said the proposal will permit "incestuous donor-assisted human reproduction and surrogacy" because same-sex couples are not able to produce children without external intervention.

"You can get your sister to provide the egg and your brother to supply the sperm to produce a baby because we haven't regulated it," he warned.

Meanwhile, Irish mammies will have a big influence in the same-sex marriage referendum, believes Tánaiste Joan Burton.

Ms Burton said she has met several mothers who spoke of their fear that their gay children will lead lonely, isolated lives, unless they can establish permanent relationships and get married like their brothers and sisters.

Ms Burton told the Irish language online magazine that she was struck by one woman she met in Moneygall, Co Offaly, who said she wanted her son, who is gay, to "settle down".

"This was an Irish mammy thing," she said. "She wanted to see all of her children settle down, whether they were gay or straight," she said.

Irish Independent

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