77 Sir John Rogersons Quay Dublin 2 info@mothersandfathersmatter.org

“NO” ad in local papers addresses issue at heart of campaign 13/05/15

Mothers and Fathers matter has said that its new ad, which includes a cartoon of a young girl asking for a mother and a father and being told ‘shame’ in response, goes to the heart of the issues in the marriage referendum.

The ad is running in some local newspapers this week, and has already provoked a lively response on social media and elsewhere.

In a statement, Mothers and Fathers matter said:

“This ad is to the point, and we designed it to be just that. The fact is that if this referendum passes, we will be saying that two men or two women are just the same as a man and a woman and that any child who feels otherwise is to be denounced.

“This is already happening. Mothers and Fathers Matter hosted a speaker two weeks ago named Heather Barwick who was raised by her mother and her mother’s lesbian partner. Heather, who is American, loves her mother very much but when she said publicly that she missed having a father, pro-same sex marriage campaigners loudly denounced her as a ‘bigot’ and a ‘hate-monger’.

Other people raised by same-sex parents who said in public that they missed having a mother or a father have also been denounced.

Local radio stations could do worse than interview Katy Faust about this. Katy, who is also American, is available for interview given enough notice.

In this campaign, a Yes vote is a vote to create some children that will lack a mother or a father deliberately, not  by circumstance. A no vote protects children, and doesn’t change the civil partnership rights that gay couples already enjoy.

It is doubly unjust when a child is denounced for saying they missed have a mother or a father.

We believe the ad tells a story, and we hope that the Irish people will think carefully before they vote”.

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Amarach polling shows voters in favour of NO campaign alternative 19/05/2015

“Amarach Research, on behalf of the NO campaign, have conducted polling on the issues in this campaign.

A major finding of that research is that a clear plurality of voters believe that same-sex couples should be afforded equal rights in article 40 of the constitution, and not article 41 as the Government proposes.

The fact is – and this is recognised by voters – that the Government is inserting 17 words into article 41 that are effectively a wrecking clause. In the event of a yes vote, the constitution will now say that the marriage of two men, or two women, is legally identical in every respect to the marriage of a man and a woman.

This will have serious consequences for all future family law, particularly as it relates to children.

Again, we urge voters who believe that all our citizens deserve equality to vote NO on Friday – there is a better, fairer, way to do this that gives parity of esteem to gay couples while protecting the rights of children to a father and a mother”.

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“Ashers decision shows same-sex marriage has huge implications for freedom of conscience” Walsh 19-05-2015

Senator Jim Walsh has described his deep regret at learning that the McArthur family, owners of Ashers Bakery in Belfast, has been found guilty of discrimination in a landmark legal case. They had refused to provide a cake bearing a pro- same-sex marriage slogan that had been ordered by an LGBT rights activist. The judge, Ms Isobel Brownlie, acknowledged that the couple had ‘genuine deeply held religious beliefs’ and that there were ‘competing human rights’ in the case. However she ruled that the McArthurs were guilty of discrimination in declining to fulfil the order and awarded damages against them.
The young couple, Karen and Daniel McArthur, who run a business employing 80 people insist that they have ‘always served everyone’ but could not promote a cause which goes against their religious beliefs about marriage. Daniel also referred to the many anxious months his family had endured because of the ongoing proceedings.

Senator Walsh argues that this case shows us the implications of same-sex marriage:

“In view of the forthcoming referendum, this case obviously raises grave concerns regarding the extent to which people of faith can be compelled by law to compromise their deeply held religious beliefs and the consequences both for individuals and businesses should they refuse to do so.

The Government has rejected the idea of inserting freedom of conscience protections and exemptions into law if same-sex marriage is introduced. Enda Kenny has insisted that all schools will have to teach the new conception of marriage and family, regardless of the ethos of the school. Marriage isn’t the only thing at stake in this referendum. Freedom of opinion and freedom of conscience, for individuals, businesses and schools, are also on the chopping block. Indeed, a significant insight into the pressure on schoolchildren was clearly illustrated in the intolerance and pressure they came under in a North Dublin school last week where they were being forced into wearing LGBT rights insignia and participating in ‘LGBT Week’ activities,“ concluded Senator Walsh. ENDS

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10 year old Muireann hospitalised after attack on “NO” event by “Yes” supporters 13/05/2015


10 year old Muireann DeClár was tonight hospitalised following an attack on an event hosted by NO campaigners in county Meath.

Muireann, who is severely allergic to eggs, was sitting on the side of an advertising truck bearing a NO campaign ad when the event was attacked by youths throwing missiles, including eggs. Muireann suffered a severe allergic reaction, and her life was only saved by the swift reactions of her mother, Aoife, who administered adrenalin at the scene. Muireann has since been hospitalised, where her condition is believed to be stable.

The incident took place outside Navan shopping centre at approximately 4.30pm, where NO campaigners lead by Paddy Manning were canvassing passers-by.

Responding to the incident, Mr. Manning said:

“In all my years of political activism, I have never witnessed such an act of mindlessness, or a scene so distressing. While the attackers had no way of knowing that Muireann had an allergy, they had every way of knowing that she was a child of about ten years old.

The toxic atmosphere created by the YES campaign is squarely to blame for this incident, of that, there can be no doubt. The event in question was a meet and greet, where no campaigners were trying to engage voters in friendly discussion and polite debate about the decision facing the country in a week. That the response to that engagement from some who disagree with us was to put a child in hospital is absolutely beyond the pale.

I call, immediately and in the strongest terms, for an absolute condemnation and distancing of themselves from this incident by the leaders of the Yes campaign, including those at the top of the political parties.

I would like to extend my sympathies, and the sympathies of everybody in the NO campaign to Muireann and her family. They have become the unfortunate victims of a campaign that has lost any and all sense of perspective”.


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“Accord” funding cut speaks for itself – MFM 13/05/15

Mothers and Fathers matter issued the following statement in response to breaking news that marriage counselling agency “Accord” has suffered a cut of almost €400,000 in its funding following its opposition to the marriage referendum:

“This is a petty and vindictive move by a petty and vindictive Government, and their attempts to deny what has happened here are a little bit desperate and extremely unconvincing.

It is now patently clear that, as YES spokesperson Noel Whelan said on RTE’s Prime Time debate last week, there will be no place for agencies like Accord in the Government’s vision of marriage. Voters should be aware of this.

We urge the Government to immediately restore the funding to Accord, and to confirm in writing to voters that the funding of no catholic agency will be threatened by its opposition to same sex marriage in the event of a Yes vote”.

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Gay couples already have all legal rights. – O’Loan

In The Irish Catholic Nuala O’Loan writes:

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others. It’s an aspiration, something to which a couple commit in the expectation, I am sure, that they will always love one another as they love each other on the day of their wedding. Of course that does not always happen.

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‘Marriage equality’ will spell end of biology being a relevant factor of parenthood.

John Waters writing in today’s Sunday Independent tackles some of the difficult family law issues we’ll have to face if we vote to redefine marriage.

It occurred to me during the week that, for the past 20 years, I may have been wrong about what is happening in family law. I realise this is a pretty dramatic thing to concede at this stage of the game: what set me thinking like this was a family law judgement in a UK case last week, widely reported in the news here, about a so-called surrogate mother who lost custody of her 15 month-old baby girl to the father and his gay lover.

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Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter


“A growing, quiet confidence” in NO side – King


Halfway through the same-sex marriage referendum the dangers of a yes vote are beginning to emerge, as voters increasingly comprehend what is at stake, Mothers and Fathers matter have said.


In a statement by spokesperson Eileen King, the group said it was very happy with how television and radio debates had helped highlight the issues in the campaign, and called again on voters to think carefully before making a “radical and extreme change that could not be undone”.


Ms. King said:


“In the past week the referendum campaign has finally benefited from having some real debates, and the public have finally gotten to see the real issues being discussed. For many people, this will have been the first time they have had a chance to properly engage with the issue.


The fact is that in the past week, they have seen the Minister for Justice expressly refuse to support a child’s right to know their natural mother and father. They have seen yes campaigners talk openly about shutting down marriage counselling agencies, and anybody else who does not subscribe to their particular ideology.


The YES side have been saying for some time that this is about family – but they also say this debate has nothing to do with children. The voters are now seeing a campaign that has no regard for the rights of children to know their natural parents, and that seeks to utterly change the nature of parenting and the rights of children in the most extreme possible manner.

As these debates have progressed, and voters have had a chance to see for themselves what is at stake, so too have we seen the growth of a quiet, determined confidence on the NO side.


You can cross whole swathes of this country without seeing a campaign poster for the YES side – and unlike in our case, it’s not because they’ve been torn down. Even amongst the parties officially campaigning for a YES vote, there is in many places disquiet and unease that the purveyors of such an extreme agenda have held sway over the party leadership in Dublin.


But let’s be absolutely clear – we believe that even though the YES campaign appears to have the weight of the establishment behind it, this campaign is there for the winning. We believe the NO vote is surging, and growing in strength, and feedback to the campaign from people around the country confirms this.


The debates in recent days have shown us why – it’s up to us now to finish the job”.


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Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter


Campaigners for same sex marriage must immediately clarify whether organisations such as catholic marriage counselling service “Accord” will have their state funding removed in the event of a “YES” vote, Mothers and Fathers matter have said.

Responding to comments from leading YES campaigner Noel Whelan in last night’s “Prime Time” debate, in which he appeared to support the withdrawal of funding from the marriage counselling service, Mothers and Fathers matter said:

“We are beginning to see the natural consequences of an extreme agenda that seeks to impose its values and will on the Irish people through a dishonest campaign.

“Accord” is a service that has helped tens of thousands of Irish couples through some of the most difficult periods of their lives. It is an institution cherished and respected across the land. The very idea that attempts will be made to shut it down in the name of LGBT “equality” will be abhorrent and frightening to a great many people.

Unfortunately, this campaign is not about equality at all. It is about an ideology that seeks to impose its will on the public without any room for dissent.

We believe that last night’s debate showed the Irish people what is really at stake – the natural ties between parents and children, the right to free expression, and the continued existence of some of our most cherished institutions.

As the “YES” side start to falter, so their agenda becomes clear. For their own sake, if nothing else, they must immediately clarify whether the funding of services like “Accord” will be under threat – and if not, why not?”


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