Wednesday 19 June 2019

AUDIO: Iona Institute director David Quinn and Newstalk's Chris Donoghue go head to head in heated debate on referendum Newsdesk Newsdesk

The director of the Iona Institute David Quinn and Newstalk broadcaster Chris Donoghue went head to head this morning in a debate about the marriage equality referendum.

Mr Quinn, who is advocating for a No vote on Friday, was quizzed by the broadcaster his stance on homosexuality, gay marriage, and family.

And during the heated interview, Mr Quinn accused Donoghue of trying to muddy the waters by quoting an article he wrote “completely out of context”.

Donoghue questioned the No advocate over a comment he made on Twitter during celebrations when lesbian couple Dil Wickremasinghe and her partner Anne Marie announced their pregnancy.

Mr Quinn said: “What happened was, I saw somebody at random saying ‘two people celebrating being pregnant’. It was no reference to the name of the person, and I wrote back to point out ‘who’s the father?’.”

“If somebody came to me and said ‘I’m pregnant’, I don’t know what I’d ask in this situation but I would assume that there is a father out there somewhere in the child’s life.

David Quinn of Iona.
David Quinn of Iona.

“I believe mothers are different from fathers and that is the overriding concern for me.”

Donoghue referenced a previous article written by Mr Quinn in which he said that he believes divorced Catholics who marry again are sinners. 

Chris Donoghue
Chris Donoghue

“You’re now trying to get me entangled into an internal church matter, utterly an internal church matter, and what you are trying to do here is muddy the waters,” Mr Quinn said.

Mr Quinn said Donoghue was “bringing in extraneous points” from different contexts and trying to “muddy the waters” and use “distraction tactics”.

“That is an internal Church matter as to whether people who divorce and remarry can receive Communion.”

Asked if he had a problem with gay people, Mr Quinn said he supported the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993.

Mr Quinn said he also supports the “partnership right” of gay people.

“Until it dawned on me that because of the way that Article 41 [which concerns the family] is structured, it comes with a right to have children. A guarding principle for me has been where possible a child ought to have a mother and a father.”

“My problem the whole time here is I think that the fact that every child has a mother and a father is a somewhat important fact of life and it’s not a fact that we can simply set aside lightly. We can’t be saying that gender balance is crucial in panels, in business, in political... except in the area where the male/female balance originated.”

For the full interview, listen above.

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