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Giving inalienable rights to gay husbands or wives is a step too far

The Referendum Commission’s booklet arrived yesterday. It is admirably clear.

It quotes three extracts from Article 41 that use the word family. The first is:

41.1.1: The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

The booklet goes on to state that the Courts have decided that a married couple with or without children constitute a “Family” in the Constitutional sense.

Finally, it states that if the marriage equality referendum is passed, then two people of the same sex will be able to marry.

Now let’s apply some logic. We are forced to the conclusion that if the referendum is passed, then “Family” in the Constitution will cover the (lifelong, exclusive, and public) union of gay partners. Let’s then replace the word “Family” in the above extracts by the words “union of heterosexual or homosexual partners”. This gives us the sense in which the extracts will be read in future.

We get the following:

From 41.1.1: The State recognises the union of heterosexual or homosexual partners as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

Now let’s apply a further logical step, and draw the conclusion:

From 41.1.1: The State recognises the union of homosexual partners as a natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

This referendum proposal is not about equality. The text does not mention equality and the equality of all citizens is already guaranteed by Article 40.1 and the assertion that a vote against it is a vote against the equality of gay people is without merit.

The State already recognises the (lifelong, exclusive and public) union of gay partners as a civil union, and protects it by its authority.

We are now being asked to go significantly further. We are asked to recognise the union of homosexual partners as an institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

Give me a break.

Anthony G O’Farrell

The Maws

Kilcock

Co Kildare


Lifestyle

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