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Family based on marriage is key to a stable society

Sir, Your correspondent, Paul Bowler, poses the question in The Kerryman of July 18; 'Do we want to condemn gay people to second class citizenship?

He might have rephrased the question as follows: 'Do we want to deprive the children of the future of their own father or mother where possible?', because that's exactly what will happen with the introduction of gay marriage. It will usher in a new dawn in which marriage will have been redefined from an institution aimed mainly at providing a child with his/her own mother and father to one concerned mainly with adult relationships, in whatever form.

And it isn't a case of imposing anything on anybody, rather is it to be seen as proposing and promoting that which has, generally speaking, stood the test of time in providing the environment which is so important to the stability of our society. Indeed our Irish Constitution recognises this in Article 41 which states; 'The State therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indespensible to the welfare of the Nation and the State. The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage on which the Family is founded and to protect it against attack.' The framers of our Constitution display there an admirable and far-seeing vision of what is best for these institutions.

Paul Bowler states that today we are deciding what our grandchildren will think of us. Surely they will think more of us if we give them that support which is provided within the family circle by, where possible, a father and mother. There they are more likely to acquire the stability and ability to become mature citizens and eventually better parents themselves.

It is surely all part of the great struggle going on at present between those who wish to bring about change and those who wish to retain what is best for the family, based on marriage, as the necessary basis of the social order and as indespensable to the welfare of the Nation and State. The fence is not the place to be at this time. Sincerely, Patrick O'Neill, Mount Lyne, Killorglin.