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

Voting ‘No’ does not make you anti-equality or homophobic 6/5/15

Senator Rónán Mulen writing in today’s Irish Independent criticises the government for manipulating the language on the ballot paper.

Normally, your referendum ballot has a neutral title (like ‘Judges’ Pay’ or ‘Oireachtas Inquiries’). You, the voter, are supposed to be sovereign. There should be no manipulation. But this time it’s different. The phrase ‘marriage equality’ is a little message from the Government, just as you’re picking up the pencil, that if you thinking of voting ‘No’, you’re anti-equality and homophobic.

Click here to read the full article.


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Press Release: O’LOAN COMMENTS HIGHLIGHT CULTURE OF FEAR IN REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN 30/04/15

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

O’LOAN COMMENTS HIGHLIGHT CULTURE OF FEAR IN REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN

Mothers and Fathers matter issued the following comment this morning in response to an intervention by Nuala O’Loan into the marriage referendum:

“Nuala O’Loan’s comments this morning about the Garda Representative Association are absolutely correct, and we welcome them and lend them our support.

However, they speak to a much bigger issue in this referendum campaign – that being the way in which all dissent has been intimidated into silence by a YES campaign that refuses to consider any opposition to it legitimate.

Across the country, people are simply afraid to say that they are voting no, for fear of the backlash. People who are voting NO are worried that a vengeful YES campaign and its supporters will cost them their jobs and their livelihoods.

The unprecedented politicisation of the Gardai by the YES campaign to aid their recruitment drive stands as a stark illustration of the lengths to which they will go. We believe that the reputation for impartiality of the Gardai is more important than the sectional interests of the YES campaign.

This is a terrible state of affairs in a democracy, and we think the only way to address it is for people to use the ballot box to send a silent message on May 22nd – NO”.


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Press Release: NO campaign criticises “radical extreme” comments from Finlay 29/04/15

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

NO campaign criticises “radical extreme” comments from Finlay

Was it really that hard to say, Fergus?

Mothers and Fathers matter issued the following comment this morning in response to an intervention by Fergus Finlay and Barnardos into the marriage referendum:

“When pressed by Chris Donoghue on Newstalk this morning, former Labour Party adviser Fergus Finlay could not bring himself to say that children had a natural right to know their mother and father, conceding only that they had a right to an “identity”.

The fact that the leader of a children’s charity cannot bring himself to use the phrase “children have a right to know their mother and their father” speaks volumes.

We are the campaign with a clear message to people before they vote on May 22nd: Children have a right to know their mother, and to know their father, and to be brought up, where possible, by their mother and by their father – a position set out in the UN convention on the rights of the child.

The “extreme” position in this debate is not to make that statement, but to oppose it.”

Ends


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“People must vote NO without any fear”

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

“People must vote NO without any fear”

Campaign launches “make up your own mind video”

Mothers and Fathers matter is today launching a campaign video called “make up your own mind”. The video urges voters to resist attempts at emotional blackmail, and to consider the issue according to their own conscience before casting their vote.

Announcing the video, Mothers and Fathers matter said:

“Time and time again, voters tell us that while they are voting NO on May 22nd, they’re frightened to speak out about their concerns.

The fact is, and polls confirm this, that many people who tell pollsters they are voting YES have real and serious concerns about the affects this proposal will have on children, the right to conscientious objection, and a host of other issues.

The entire purpose of the YES campaign is to make sure that people feel scared to think about these concerns, and express them. The YES campaign, in short, want people to think it is homophobic to vote NO – it is not.

The fact is that you can absolutely respect the rights of gay men and women to live as equal members of this society while recognising the special role of marriage and its importance to children. You can respect and cherish families of all types while believing that the state should accord special recognition to motherhood and fatherhood, and the importance of the union of a man and a woman in bringing up children.

These are normal, healthy, decent human values. We share them in the NO campaign. We want people to be able to vote NO without fear.

The tone of this campaign so far has been vicious – we have seen NO campaigners racially abused in the street, organised gangs of thugs taking down posters, and a Taoiseach who won’t even debate the issue.

Today, we’re asking voters to tune all that information out, and to make up their own minds.”

Ends

Further information about Mothers and Fathers Matter can be found on our website: www.mothersandfathersmatter.ie

“Make up your own Mind” video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25qhj7CYfss


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Charleville Lodge stunt “an attack on democracy” – NO campaign

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

Charleville Lodge stunt “an attack on democracy” – NO campaign

YES side should disavow owner, return any donations from hotel

Mothers and Fathers matter spokesperson Keith Mills issued the following statement in response to an advert by the Charleville Lodge hotel offering discounts to patrons who could prove that they had stolen “NO” campaign posters:

“Since they were erected last week, our posters have been subject to an orchestrated campaign of theft, defacement, and vandalism. That this would now be overtly encouraged by a prominent business supporter of the YES campaign is a little bit pathetic, but still an attack on democracy.

It is very clear that one side of this referendum campaign doesn’t want to debate, and instead wants to intimidate.

We urge the leaders of the YES campaign to condemn this latest stunt, and to return any donations they have received from the proprietor of this hotel, who has discredited himself and the YES campaign with this kind of abject nonsense”.

Ends

Note to Editors

Further information about Mothers and Fathers Matter can be found on our website: www.mothersandfathersmatter.ie


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Taoiseach’s refusal to debate is pathetic – NO campaign

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

Taoiseach’s refusal to debate is pathetic – NO campaign

C’mon, who’s buying this “nobody’s good enough to debate me” excuse?

In response to the Taoiseach’s refusal to confirm a debate with the “NO” campaign at this morning’s tightly choreographed launch of the Fine Gael “YES” campaign, Mothers and Fathers matter issued the following statement:

“In four weeks, people across the country are being asked to go to the polls and vote on a proposal brought forward by the Taoiseach.

In January, Mr. Kenny said he would be “happy to debate” this proposal live on air with opponents.

When he made that promise, he knew full well that there would not be “party political” opposition to the referendum, so for him to try and use that excuse now to avoid a debate reeks of a naturally occurring form of fertilizer. Does he really think people will believe that there’s nobody good enough to debate him? It’s a real insult to YES side spinmeisters that they have to sell this nonsense for the next few weeks.

Evidently, in the intervening period, someone in Government buildings has decided that the leader of the country can’t be trusted to defend his own ideas when challenged.

The Irish people are being presented with a dishonest campaign that says marriage has nothing to do with children, a campaign that says motherhood and fatherhood don’t matter, and a campaign that says that the family in the constitution can mean anything that the government wants it to mean.

That the Taoiseach can’t be trusted by his own staff to defend these ideas should tell voters everything they need to know”.

Ends

Note to Editors

Further information about Mothers and Fathers Matter can be found on our website: www.mothersandfathersmatter.ie


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Kenny said he wanted a debate – now let’s have him set the date

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

Kenny said he wanted a debate – now let’s have him set the date

We’ll even help him out by giving him our points in advance

Taoiseach Enda Kenny promised in January to take part in “live debates” with opponents of his government’s same-sex marriage referendum and should now name the date and venue for such a showdown, Mothers and Fathers matter have said.

Commenting ahead of the Fine Gael Campaign launch this morning, Mothers and Fathers matter said:

“The Taoiseach said he would be “happy” to take part in a debate. Well, so would we.

We know Enda Kenny’s handlers may not like the idea of him having to actually debate his reasons for wanting to redefine marriage, so we’re happy to tell them in advance what the main questions he will face in the debate are. Here are three:

1)    Mr. Kenny, do you believe children have a natural right to know their mother and their father?

2)    Mr. Kenny, do you believe creating a child with the intention that that child will never know its own mother is a good thing, or a bad thing?

3)    Mr. Kenny, was Leo Varadkar wrong when he said that children had a right to a mother and a father, and that this was “more important than the right of two men or two women having a family?” If he was wrong, why was he wrong?

Now that Mr. Kenny knows what our main arguments will be, we are happy to give him some time to prepare himself for this debate with his handlers. Whenever he is ready, we will be.

The only question that remains is whether Mr. Kenny is a man of his word – for if he is not, why does anything else he says on this issue matter today?”

Ends

Note to Editors

Further information about Mothers and Fathers Matter can be found on our website: www.mothersandfathersmatter.ie

Enda Kenny on taking part in a debate:

http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-enda-kenny-vows-debate-4899708

http://www.newstalk.com/Enda-Kenny-will-take-part-in-live-debates-ahead-of-samesex-marriage-referendum

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/taoiseach-i-will-take-part-in-same-sex-marriage-debates-656464.html


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Professor Helen Alvaré on Spirit Radio

Helen Alvaré, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law in Virginia, has published extensively on matters concerning marriage, parenting and religious freedom. Here she offers insights into how same sex marriage has had unintended consequences in the USA.


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DONOGHUE “JUST PLAIN WRONG” ON CIVIL PARTNERSHIP CLAIMS – NO CAMPAIGN

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

DONOGHUE “JUST PLAIN WRONG” ON CIVIL PARTNERSHIP CLAIMS – NO CAMPAIGN

Mothers and Fathers Matter issued the following statement from Keith Mills in response to comments from Minister Paschal Donoghue, in which the minister claimed that “NO” campaigners had opposed civil partnership:

“I was surprised to learn from the Minister that I opposed civil partnership.

Clearly, I was dreaming when I lobbied vigorously for the bill to pass. I must have imagined my strong support for the legislation. Either that, or the Minister will spout whatever spoofery it takes to get control of the airwaves for five minutes.

Maybe Minister Donoghue would be so good as to debate me on the radio on the issue of my support for civil partnerships? He’s a politician, so he’ll have plenty of experience in telling people that the past is actually different from how they remember it.

If he doesn’t wish to convince me that I was dreaming when I lobbied his party for the civil partnership bill, maybe he could just apologise and withdraw his ridiculous comments instead.

I suppose it’s too much to ask him to think before he speaks, but I’m asking him anyway”.

Ends

Note to Editors

Further information about Mothers and Fathers Matter can be found on our website: www.mothersandfathersmatter.ie


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