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Reasons for marriage

Some gay Irishmen have experienced bullying — this is unacceptable. Unfortunately, such ‘homophobia’ has been misconstrued as new justification for same-sex marriage.

Certain commentators suggest that changing marriage law would normalise homosexual relationships and moderate intolerance. Without attempting to evaluate such an argument, we can see it demands a specific vision of matrimony, ie, that marriage exists primarily to serve the needs of adults. This view is in contrast to almost all precedent, everywhere.

The common factors in marriage have always been reproduction and inheritance. This explains why the state is involved, not because it must ratify our private romances, but because it has a duty to protect children. The 2015 referendum on same-sex unions will paraphrase a game-changing question: does married love have an objective biological basis (mummy, daddy and maybe-baby) or is it simply a romantic contract (adult 1 and adult 2)?

Dr Samuel Shephard
Co Cork


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