IF, although I increasingly suspect when, the Government loses the forthcoming same sex marriage referendum, it will only have itself to blame.
And when the hand wringing and recriminations and aches begin, politicians need look no further than their collective, successive failure to introduce - in a timely fashion - laws regulating surrogacy and other aspects of assisted human reproduction (AHR).
For all his many blind spots, in my view, in respect of the gardaí, former Justice Minister Alan Shatter was astute enough to recognise that the debate on same sex marriage should not be conflated with other hot parenting topics such as surrogacy - primarily a heterosexual enterprise - as well as issues such as gay adoption/parenting.
It is 10 years since the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction, amongst others, bemoaned the lack of regulation surrounding AHR, that failure itself a by-product of the 1983 right to life amendment. But successive governments didn't act. And complex cases surrounding parenthood, including the frozen embryo and the lesbian sperm/donor cases, embarked on their sorry journeys through the courts as 6,000 IVF babies were born into a legal limbo, if a happy one. It was inevitable that surrogacy would fall for review by the courts. And when it did, in a case involving a genetic mother of twins born through a surrogate - her sister - the State clung to an archaic Latin maxim that ignored the vast bulk of advances in science and medicine in the last century.
The Government's core argument to support its claim that the genetic mother of the twin girls should not be recognised as their legal mother was "mater semper certa est" - the woman who gives birth is the mother of the child.
The opposite is the case: the only thing that is certain, courtesy of DNA testing, is who the daddy is.
Motherhood has changed: a genetic mother may never give birth and a birth mother - like a traditional adoptive mother - may have no genetic connection whatsoever to the child she delivers.
In the Supreme Court, lawyers for the twins and their genetic mother argued precisely this point, namely that motherhood can no longer be determined on the basis of giving birth. Senior Counsel Gerry Durcan argued that it must, instead, be decided according to inheritable statistics or a "blood link" to the child. This, it was argued, meant the genetic parents of the twins were entitled to be declared as their legal parents. Now the Government, it seems, has adopted the precise stance it fought against.
Parenthood matters. Children are entitled to know their blood links and inheritable characteristics, whatever the manner of their birth and upbringing.
That has everything and, in a way, nothing to do with your parents being straight or gay. And yet this will become one of most contested fault lines in the months ahead.
And we failed to head it off at the pass.