ALL-IRELAND winning Dublin footballer Ger Brennan has revealed he is voting 'No' in the same-sex marriage referendum.
In explaining why, Brennan has argued that a change in the law will "redefine marriage" and said this is "obviously going to affect children".
In publicly taking a No stance he said he believes he will be "targeted" and "labelled for it".
"It would have been easier to keep my mouth shut and not rock the boat. But I'm sick of the accusations being flung around that if you vote 'No' you are homophobic.
"I know I'm not homophobic; my gay friends and family can attest to that.
"I am voting 'No' because I don't want our Constitution to deny that it is a good thing for a child to have a mother and a father," he said.
Brennan, who has previously spoken of his strong religious faith, hit out at other prominent people who have been campaigning in support of same-sex marriage.
"It seems like every celebrity and every group in the country is calling for a 'Yes' vote.
"I see all the Vote No posters being ripped down and defaced all across Dublin without anyone in politics or in the media condemning it," he claimed.
"I am proud to love my gay family members and my gay friends. Yet I feel strongly there is more to the marriage debate than adult equality," he said.
Brennan said that Irish society has "thankfully progressed in its acceptance of gay people and this is to be embraced".
But he argued that "they are already equal citizens" and already "have their relationships recognised by the State" with civil partnership ceremonies which he says are "virtually identical to civil marriage ceremonies".
Yes campaigners have argued that the same-sex marriage laws will not impact on children and adoption authorities have confirmed that the laws surrounding adoption won't change if the referendum passes.
However, Brennan said "we should be mature enough" to accept that a change in the law will affect children.
"We will be denying that children have any kind of a legal right to a mother and father where possible, like when it comes to laws relating to adoption and surrogacy," he said.
See pages 16 & 17