News Referendum 2015

Wednesday 24 January 2018

'Political correctness gone mad' - Fidelma Healy Eames on being only female in Oireachtas campaigning for 'No' vote

Fidelma Healy Eames
Fidelma Healy Eames
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Independent Senator Fidelma Healy Eames said it is “political correctness gone mad” that she is the only female member of the Oireachtas campaigning for a ‘No’ vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum.

Speaking at a Mothers and Fathers Matter event, Ms Eames said it was “absolutely incredible” that there is no other female parliamentarian voting against the constitutional change.

The senator said polls showed almost a quarter of people will vote against the referendum yet only six members of the Oireachtas said they will vote 'No'.

“Something is wrong. This is at some level political correctness gone mad. It’s populism but it certainly isn’t thought through,” the senator said.

Ms Eames also questioned whether it was appropriate to teach children about same sex marriage.

“Is it is appropriate to expose children as young as four and five to this type of language or behaviour?” she added.

Read more: Mum of Labour TD John Lyons recalls the moment he told her he was gay: 'John had just been to three debs in a month.... I thought he'd got a girl pregnant'

She said, if the referendum passes on Friday, Ireland will be the only country in the world to enact same sex marriage through a popular vote.

“In all other countries when it has been passed it has been through the legislator, which means it can be amended if everything goes wrong. A popular vote of the people is almost impossible to reverse,” she said.

Mothers and Fathers Matter spokeswoman Eileen King called on the electorate to reject the referendum so it can be scrutinised further by the Oireachtas.

 “The real question for people on Friday is whether we should reject his referendum now so that it will give us an opportunity to find a way to give same sex marriage couples the constitutional right they require, they would like, without redefining marriage,” Ms Kind said.

“We need to ask ourselves why did we not have an Oireachtas inquiry at the start, no public hearing, no working group. For the No campaign it is essential that people take time to consider this. And we really feel that the best way forward is to reject this referendum so it will give us an opportunity to deal with these issues properly,” she added.

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