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

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.


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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