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On the streets of Waterford on May 16, I was abused while canvassing for a ‘no’ vote in the marriage referendum.
To disagree with the ‘yes’ campaign is to be considered homophobic, prejudiced, bigoted and hateful. One young lesbian described me as a “disgusting person” and a gay man accused me of being “full of hate”.
This has been a shameful characteristic of this debate. Aggressive secularism is a sad reality both of public and private discourse. Characterising traditional marriage as prejudice is itself prejudice.
The elephant in the room is the absence of procreation in same sex-relationships. They are not only profoundly different to heterosexual relationships, but also unequal in a way that is central to the purpose of marriage in our constitution and society.
Do we want to endorse an ideology of marriage and sexuality that is intolerant of any alternative viewpoint? Do we want bishops and pastors prosecuted for being faithful to Christian teaching, as is happening in Europe? Do we want to see school curricula revised under the guise of ‘tackling homophobia, equality, and inclusiveness’ to advance an ideology that is contrary to the views of many citizens?
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