A Yes victory will not change the supremacy of natural biological law
It's undeniable that parenthood by a male and female remains the best enviroment in which children can blossom, says Johnny Duhan
When we started the voyage there was just me and you,
Now look around us, we have our own crew.
While reflecting on the almost total political and media consensus regarding the Yes side in the forthcoming referendum on gay marriage, a Chinese adage came to mind and prompted me to formulate my own opinions on the issue:
When everyone is for it, look into it.
When everyone is against it, look into it.
Because the most popular song that I have written in my long songwriting career - The Voyage - is directly related to the family, and stems from an album of songs that deal exclusively with the struggles of maintaining a hard-won balance in married life and the upbringing of children, I feel obligated to put forward these thoughts on the matter, even though my reasoning may rankle with many who hold opposing views, including close and extended family members, friends, acquaintances, neighbours, and, if we are to believe the media and our politicians at large, the vast majority of liberal, modern Ireland.
Apart from a small group of lay Catholic activists and some faint murmurings from a few members of a cowed Catholic institutional church, I'm amazed by the ease with which this fundamental change to our whole way of life is being railroaded into legislation, without analysing its legitimacy and reflecting on the consequences that such monumental change will no doubt have on Irish society in the years ahead.
Our motivation for wanting to turn the institution of marriage on its head seems to be that, as a nation, we feel a deep need to make amends for the centuries of raw discrimination that the world at large has levelled at the practice of homosexuality, and the pain and suffering that it has caused to its practitioners.
To ease our collective conscience and to safeguard homosexual members of our own families who may be open to similar discrimination and abuse in the future, we are racing to proclaim to the world that our new view of marriage is that it is fundamentally more about the immediate aspirations, emotions, longings and physical desires of couples entering into the marriage union than any long-term, blood-knit, genetic and spiritual aims that may bear organic fruit down the generational line.
Same-sex couples, even when employing surrogacy by one of its members, can never produce the kind of natural bond that grows organically in the nuclear family.
What the proposed amendment to our Constitution regarding the family is endeavouring to do is to annul the supremacy of a natural biological law that can only be applied by a male and female couple. This can't and won't be done, even if a majority of our population opt for it.
No one that I am aware of on the No side disputes the fact that well-balanced single parents, widows or widowers, parents of adopted children, including homosexual couples raising surrogate or adopted children, can make a fine job of raising children, sometimes even a far better job than unbalanced and dysfunctional heterosexual couples. But this nominal truth does not take away from the general natural law, when not poisoned by aberration, that parenthood by a male and female remains the most balanced, secure and healthy environment for children to grow and blossom in.
Marriage in general, as we have known it for aeons, has come under attack in modern times due to the changing mores of recent generations, who are genuinely trying to redefine the human condition after centuries of moral chaos in our world, much of it brought about by religious and spiritual confusion.
In a way, it is good and right that our churchmen have remained relatively silent on this issue after their gross failure in dealing with other sexually related issues. But this referendum isn't just about a religious matter; it is about a fundamental biological aspect of life that should not be tampered with.
Even the ancient Greeks and Romans, who accepted the practice of homosexuality as a natural trait in a section of their communities, never in their wildest dreams contemplated elevating gay relationships to the sanctity of marriage.
This attempt to place same-sex relationships on a par with male and female marriage may be passed into law, but that will not stop it from eroding a vital and sacred institution that has stood the human race well from time immemorial.