FORMER Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has defended a controversial tweet she sent yesterday, when she questioned whether mother’s and father’s day could be celebrated if the equal marriage referendum was passed.
"Happy Mothers' day all! Hope we can continue to celebrate it after #SSM passed. In some US states Mother’s & Father's Day banned #pcgonemad," she tweeted yesterday.
She later clarified that her tweet was referring to some schools, not states.
This morning she told Pat Kenny on Newstalk that she stood by the tweet.
“A few weeks ago I got a number of emails and something that struck me quite hard... they banned mothers’ day and fathers’ day for fear of offending children of same sex couples.
“I understand the sensitivities around it. I certainly know that the school in Canada the fear was offending children of same sex couples.”
She said that while she still hasn’t made up her mind about which way she’ll vote in May’s referendum
“All I’m saying is let’s think about unintended outcomes. Let’s have an open debate. I wouldn’t like to see Mother’s and Father’s day banned.
“I think the very worst thing is to close down free speech and choice.
“We absolutely must accept here are difference. We can’t pretend we’re all the same, this equality debate is losing that.
“The same sex marriage referendum is really about something else. It’s about the institution of marriage. Now we’re trying to say two men or two women are the same as the man and a women, that’s not possible.”
She said that she would be tabling an amendment to the Children and Family bill, calling for birth parents’ right to choose who adopted their child.
She said it was ‘very important’ that birth parents’ wishes are adhered to.
“Who is the most important person here? It’s the child. Who’s the only advocate for the child? It’s the birth mother.
“I want no cover up. I want the truth. I was the acknowledgment no child can be conceived with the union of a male and a female. That genealogy must be acknowledged.”