Saturday 10 December 2016

It is time to fillet the shoal of red herrings being thrown about by the 'No' campaign

Alan Shatter

Published 15/05/2015 | 02:30

Studies have established that it is the attachments and bonds formed between a child and parents and not simply the biological link which is crucial to a child’s welfare and development
Studies have established that it is the attachments and bonds formed between a child and parents and not simply the biological link which is crucial to a child’s welfare and development

A great many people in Ireland, I believe, have no problem whatsoever with the simple idea of gay men and women who want to marry the person they love doing just that. It is simply a matter of treating people, our brothers and sisters, our relations and friends and our colleagues, equally. And on that basis, the Referendum should pass with a majority 'Yes' vote on May 22.

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However, with a week still to go, I am not complacent and I do not believe the outcome can be taken for granted.

Some believe that marriage should be exclusively reserved for heterosexual couples and that gay couples should be content with a civil partnership ceremony, introduced into this State in 2010. But this is not equality and for many gay people, civil partnership, while it was a step in the right direction, does not give the relationship they have and the commitment they have made to the person they love the same recognition as the relationship of a heterosexual couple. They feel discriminated against, regarded as second-class citizens, and they are hurt by it. And not only do they feel the hurt, but their parents, families and friends feel it too. What parent wants their child to be treated differently because of their sexual orientation?

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