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

NO Campaign slams “Criminal, Anti-Democratic” actions of yes campaigners

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

NO Campaign slams “Criminal, Anti-Democratic” actions of yes campaigners

Poster removal, intimidation, a campaign of fear

Mothers and Fathers matter has today issued the following statement in response to numerous reports of organised removal of “vote NO” posters in Dublin and elsewhere:

“Each morning of this week, Twitter and other social media sites have been full of YES campaigners bragging, and posting photographs of themselves taking down posters belonging to the Mothers and Fathers matter campaign.

This morning, the latest example of this has appeared on broadsheet.ie:

http://www.broadsheet.ie/2015/04/23/the-poster-girls-of-shame/

It is with great regret that we have taken the decision to forward all of these materials, tweets, facebook posts and so on to An Garda Siochána.

There is very clearly a significant element of the YES side that either fears or opposes debate on this referendum. Instead, they are engaged in a campaign of harassment, intimidation, and criminality.

Just this week, for example, a Polish-Irish volunteer for Mothers and Fathers Matter was told to “go home to his own country” when erecting NO campaign posters.

We condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms, and call on the leaders of the YES campaign to join us in doing so urgently.

Our canvass returns show us that there are a significant number of people simply afraid to admit how they will vote in this referendum for fear of the reaction of YES campaigners. The issue comes up on the doorstep time and time again.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind the Irish people that the referendum in May will be conducted by secret ballot, and that all the intimidation and thuggery on earth cannot change the privacy of the ballot box”.

Note to Editors

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


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YES SIDE ARE THE ONES BEING MISLEADING ABOUT SURROGACY

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

YES SIDE ARE THE ONES BEING MISLEADING ABOUT SURROGACY

April 24 – In response to an intervention from the group “Lawyers for Yes” this morning about surrogacy being raised as an issue in the marriage referendum, Mothers and Fathers Matter issued the following statement:

“Voters may be deceived by a lot of things, but everybody knows that two men or two women can’t have a baby by themselves.

“For two men to have a baby, that child must be carried by a woman. Unless they adopt, the child will come about via the services of a surrogate mother. This is making children to order. The intention in most of these cases is for that baby never to be known by its mother again.

“We believe every child deserves the love of a mother and a father. We believe that deliberately separating a child from its mother is wrong.

“A YES vote gives two men the right to have a child under Article 41. A Yes vote means that if a married opposite-sex couple are given a legal right to use a surrogate mother (we believe surrogacy is problematic in all cases) that right will have to be given to two married men as well.

“If the YES side want to say this has nothing to do with the referendum, they are deluding themselves”.

Ends

Note to Editors

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


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Vote no to protect child’s right to a mother and father by Anna Shephard 22/04/15

Anna Shephard of Mothers and Fathers Matter writes in this week’s Cork Independent:

Gerry Buttimer suggested in this paper that the proposed amendment is momentous yet simple. Momentous, he claims, because no other country has held a popular vote on marriage redefinition. Simple, because the referendum is only about making civil marriage available to everyone.

People are rightly suspicious when politicians claim that something is simple. This referendum is no exception.

Momentous? In truth, several other countries – including Slovakia and Slovenia – have put marriage redefinition to popular vote. They have all turned it down. Of the 17 countries in the world where same sex marriage has been legalised, the change came through court order or parliamentary legislation, rather than the will of the people.

 


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Marriage Referendum No posters focus on the key areas of public debate

Press Release from Mothers and Fathers Matter

Marriage Referendum No posters focus on the key areas of public debate

Today volunteers throughout the country are taking delivery of our posters designed to reflect the key debating points of the “No” campaign in the Marriage Referendum, to be held on May 22nd. These posters will be erected over the next week or two in every constituency.

Poster One: “Children deserve a mother and a father”

The Government wants to spin children out of this referendum. In doing so it is either deliberately misleading the public or else grossly ignorant of the primary constitutional effects of the referendum. The simple fact is that issues relating to children cannot be neatly divided from Article 41’s protection of marriage and the family. If Article 41 is amended it will be impossible for any future Oireachtas to ever place in law a preference for a child having a mother and a father when it comes to any of adoption, surrogacy or donor assisted human reproduction. If the referendum passes it will forever prevent the Oireachtas from attempting to vindicate a child’s right to a mother and a father where possible. In effect, the Constitution will require that some children be deliberately deprived with the collusion of the State of either a mother or a father. Every child deserves a mother and a father, and this is no less true for adopted children or surrogate children.  

Poster Two: “We already have Civil Partnerships”

Since its introduction five years ago, Civil Partnerships have allowed over two thousand same sex couples in Ireland to say “I Do”. After campaigning for legal recognition and equality on inheritance, next of kin status, taxation provisions etc, same sex couples have the long sought after legal recognition of their relationships. Almost all of the initial differences with Civil Marriage have now been removed. Those that remain reflect the differences between same sex and opposite sex relationships when it comes to bringing children into the world. Civil Partnerships give same-sex couples the rights of married couple but don’t attack a child’s right, where possible, to a mother and a father.

Poster Three: “Surrogacy”

The Government has indicated that one of the primary reasons the Children and Family Relationships Act was passed was to attempt to take children out of the referendum debate in order to make life easier for the Yes campaign. But it has been deliberately evasive on what a passed referendum will mean for the right to procreate. Our Courts have judged that the right to procreate is derived from Article 41 of the Constitution, meaning that if the referendum passes same-sex married couples will likewise have a constitutional right to procreate. They can only procreate through donor assisted human reproduction and, in the case of men, surrogacy as well. So it is very possible that surrogacy will be seen as part of a same-sex couple’s constitutional right to procreate. In such case the Constitution will endorse as a “right” a child having a biological mother and a birth mother but being left legally and socially motherless for the rest of her life.

Even if a future court does not find that two married men have a right to have children through surrogacy, any Government which permits opposite-sex married couples to use surrogates will be bound by the Constitution to also allowed two married men to use a surrogate, which once again is a deliberate attack on the child’s right to a mother.

ENDS

Note to Editors

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

Copies of the three posters are available on the Mothers and Fathers Matter Facebook page.


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Breda O’Brien: Does Mary McAleese understand why people are voting No? 18/04/15

Breda O’Brien takes Mary McAlese to talk over her intervention in the marriage referendum.

Mary McAleese is a much-loved iar-uachtaráin, or former president. By urging a Yes vote in the marriage referendum, she has departed from what Mary Robinson described in the Seanad in 2011 as an “honourable tradition” of past presidents: that is, not commenting directly on Irish policy and politics.

For the full article click here.


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