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In marriage, we give ourselves fully, in body, mind, heart and soul, to one another, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and health.
The most beautiful manifestation of the mutual and complementary giving is the birth and raising of a child. To be participants in the creation of human life is the most profound and enriching experience available to us.
We then willingly take on the task of loving and nurturing this child to maturity and independence, with all the ups and downs that ensue.
Every child is entitled to know and, whenever possible, to be raised by its natural parents.
Marriage is the only institution that unites a child with its mother and father. We are now being asked to discard our previous interpretation of marriage for a reduced definition that takes the creation of human life out of the equation.
No homosexual or lesbian couple, no matter how much they may love each other, can of themselves create human life.
This is deliberately to deny the child one of its parents. Civil partnership gives same-sex couples all the same legal rights as marriage.
Why not enshrine civil partnership in the Constitution?
In seeking the emotional blanket of marriage, they may well destroy that which they seek, or, at the very least, in terms of values, seriously weaken the status of marriage.
Marriage has served Ireland well and is central to our strong sense of family.
To maintain marriage as the optimal environment for couples, for the creation of human life and the safeguarding of future generations, we need to reject this amendment.
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