GAA star Ger Brennan explains why he's voting No in Marriage Referendum
Dublin GAA star Ger Brennan has written a piece for Independent.ie outlining why he is advocating a 'No' vote in the upcoming Marriage Referendum.
Brennan, who won All-Ireland titles with Dublin in 2011 and 2013, has penned a long piece outlining his reasons for a 'No' vote, making him one of the most high profile names to come out for that side of the debate.
In the piece, Brennan begins by saying that 'I am proud to love my gay family members and my gay friends. And yet I feel strongly there is more to the marriage debate than adult equality.'
He then outlines what he believes the referendum is not about:
'For a start, this isn't a referendum on whether we like gay people or whether they should be equal citizens according to the Constitution. They already are equal citizens. Article 40.1, which deals with equality, declares that all citizens shall be held equal before the law. We are not being asked to amend Article 40. We are instead being asked to amend Article 41, which deals with the family and with marriage.
'Nor is this referendum about whether gay couples should have their relationships recognised by the State. They already do. Bar a couple of minor grey areas to be ironed out legislatively, gay couples in civil partnerships have all the rights married couples have. Civil partnership ceremonies are virtually identical to civil marriage ceremonies.'
The well-written piece then goes on to get to the nub of Brennan's reason for voting 'No'.
'The reason why the Constitution recognises marriage in the first place is because of its role in connecting children with their biological parents. That's why the Constitution describes the family based on marriage as "the natural primary fundamental unit group of society". Children's interests should come before all else. So if we redefine marriage and the family we are obviously going to affect children. We should be mature enough to accept this.
'All legislation is derived from the Constitution and its principles. So it seems pretty clear that if we redefine marriage and the family by making marriage genderless we will be denying that there is any special value in a child having both a mother and a father. We will be denying that children have any kind of a legal right to a mother and father where possible, like when it comes to laws relating to adoption and surrogacy.
'I just can't see why anyone would want to deny that it is good, all else being equal, for a child to have a mam and a dad.'
The reaction to the piece so far has been roughly divided into three camps, those that agree with Brennan, those that don't but admire him for standing up for his view and going public on it and those who flat out think he is wrong.
Brennan's name has trended on Twitter all morning and he has also appeared on various radio stations this morning to further explain his position.