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Human rights, biology and wisdom dictate that it should be a ‘no’ vote

So far in this marriage referendum we have been told that it is about equality and redefining marriage.

Perhaps it would be more correct to say that it is about abolishing marriage as we know it and leaving civil partnership as the only available option.

Currently, in Irish law a marriage does not come into existence until the marriage vows are consummated. In those rare and embarrassing situations where this is not possible, the matter may be taken quietly before the courts for an ‘annulment’; a declaration that a marriage never existed.

As it is impossible for two people of the same sex to consummate their relationship they cannot be regarded as married under the law of the land.

Every couple stands equal before this law; those who satisfy the criteria for what constitutes a marriage are married, those who do not, are not married.

Accordingly we are not being asked to extend the institution of marriage to same-sex couples, as some would have us believe, but rather this referendum is about re-branding civil partnerships and abolishing marriage as we know it, and as it is understood in every charter of Human Rights (see the European Court of Human Rights ruling in July 2014, in Hamalainen v. Finland).

The respect due to marriage comes from the fact that it carries the hopes of a family, a community and the wider society because of the children they are likely to bear and rear.

Human rights, the wisdom of the ages and the (complementary) biology of men and women, all dictate that we should continue to acknowledge and support marriage — born of that conjugal union of man and woman — as special, unique, life-giving and essential to the wellbeing of society.

Vote “no”.

Gearóid Duffy

Caretaker’s House


Lee Road



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