The right side of truth – Saying No to Same Sex Marriage

James D. is well known to many people on Twitter as @jdtips . Apart from reading odds and giving many betting tips he is also an advocate of a No vote in the upcoming referendum on same sex marriage.  Having heard the case for the ‘Yes’ vote he now lays out his case for people to hear.

I believe that a vast majority of people who support same-sex marriage are well intentioned and people of good will. They are upstanding compassionate people who believe they are doing the right thing in the name of ‘equality’ for fellow citizens.

They are eager to show solidarity and perhaps eager to show the world they are ‘enlightened’ and ‘modern’. A day won’t go by without some celebrity, politician or organisation coming out in favour of same- sex marriage.  It’s almost like a badge of honour or a sign of your worthiness as an individual.

It must be remembered that if something is viewed as modern , it does not mean it is automatically right. You must also remember that a vast majority of apparent supporters of same- sex marriage believed that marriage is between a man and a woman for much of their entire lives. A prime example is US President, Barack Obama who only came out in support of it in 2012.

We all believe in marriage equality, including me . But we differ on what constitutes a marriage in the first place. Very little of this debate has been about what marriage is actually about, its relevance to society and why does the state even take an interest in it.

Like you, I want  my fellow citizens regardless of gender and sexual orientation to be as happy as possible in relationships and in life.  Like you, I despise any form of bullying or prejudice directed at anyone because of their beliefs, race or sexuality.

Respecting  any sort of difference starts with recognising it exists in the first place and embracing it fully.  Respecting diversity is not built on pretending everything is the same. It is difference not sameness which makes the world a brighter, interesting and a more bearable place.

This week Ireland is likely to become the first country in the history of the world to vote for same- sex marriage by way of referendum.  Marriage and how we as a society define and view it is hugely important and any alteration should be considered with extreme care. Marriage has been the building block of society since the start of mankind.

It predates the state and church and in my view it is rooted in human nature. Practically every society in history has defined marriage as between one man and one woman.  We as a human race simply recognise that men and women are different and complement each other.

We also recognise that only a man and a woman together in a sexual union can procreate and propagate the human species and marriage is a way of tying children to their biological mother and father. It is primarily about family formation and an environment for children, mothers and fathers to identify with one another and bond together.

Not every male and female couple can and will have children but this is the state’s primary interest in marriage.  The  family is a separate and independent entity to the state . It is self- made and self interested in terms of its own flourishing and renewal.

Any attempt by the state to redefine the family or be a coercive influence on it should be treated with great suspicion.  In the Irish Constitution, the state recognises this and this is why it pledges to guard the institution of marriage on which the family is founded with ‘ special care’.

The central concern I have with the same-sex marriage proposal is that it gives the state unprecedented power to redefine the institution of marriage and move it away from its central purpose and meaning. By  redefining it, it makes the family subservient to the state and shifts the balance of power in direction of the state.

Yes it is the Irish people who are deciding how to define marriage but the referendum has been imposed us on needlessly ,without consultation or substantial appetite and without any political opposition. If we redefine marriage, this has implications in terms of how people view marriage and ultimately behave in it.

The fact that same- sex marriage has been imposed either by government or judiciary in all of the other countries that it is currently legal in, only adds weight to my concern.  The push for same- sex marriage around the world has been characterised by totalitarianism, fearful conformity, intimidation and a deep hostility towards in what we could describe as ‘ traditional’ family values.

We see it even within our own country with same- sex marriage activists and politicians alike even questioning the value of mothers and fathers in  children’s lives and development. It is incredible to see normally intelligent and clear thinking people reduced to dismissing the role of motherhood and fatherhood and defining parenting as simply about a capacity to love.

It is a deeply anti family position and insults mothers and fathers up and down the country.  In their heart of hearts they don’t believe a word of this but they are misleading the Irish people down a perilous path.  Historically, the state oversees marriage and confers certain rights and protections to the institution as it recognises its huge benefit to society.

It does not and should not define it. Its interest in marriage is primarily concerned with children, their nurturing and development in a safe and stable environment.  Contrary to what some- sex marriage activists claim, the state has no significant interest in the romance or love of its citizens.

Same-sex marriage also gives the state extraordinary power in family affairs especially in  relation to the assignment of parenthood. Natural biological ties are undermined and set aside and parenthood is determined by ‘the child’s best interests’ which can mean whatever one wants it to mean.

This will all be played out in family law courts as lawyers and judges interpret this new amendment into our Constitution. The political class love same-sex marriage because as I have outlined, it gives the state power and it also enables them to paint themselves as liberal and compassionate.

In an era when most of the public have a dim view of politicians and find them untrustworthy and duplicitous, politicians have used same- sex marriage as a vehicle to change their own image. In doing so, they have forgotten what marriage is about, its central meaning and benefit and failed to consider all the implications of redefining marriage.

As proponents of change and redefining marriage the onus is on same- sex marriage activists to put forward a convincing and compelling case forward to support their aims.Lets look at some of the arguments.

Over 90 per cent of countries still define marriage as man and woman and Ireland will be very much in a minority if it decides to redefine marriage. It is often said from proponents of same- sex marriage that it is a ‘human right’. This is untrue.  Same- sex marriage has never been a human right and the European Court of Human Rights has declined to call it any such thing.

In a judgement in March 2012, it found civil partnerships comparable to marriage. It also said ‘The European Convention of Human Rights does not require member states governments to grant same- sex couples access to marriage’.  There is of course  a human right to marry and found a family but this right is in the context of a male and female union.

In Irish law, legally there is no barrier to gay or lesbian person from marrying. Contrary to popular belief,  It does not discriminate on the basis of sexuality.  The issue is one of gender.

Proponents of same- sex marriage often say this is a basic issue of equality. This forms the central core of their argument.  The Irish constitution under article 40.1 already guarantees equality to every citizen before the law .  It does not however guarantee equality for every relationship.  Marriage has never been a measure of equality. None of us have the right to marry whoever we want.

There are restrictions in marriage which are in place to serve the common good and integrity of the institution. A heterosexual couple cannot currently access a civil partnership. It does not make them less equal. I currently cannot run for President as I am too young. It does not mean I am less of a citizen. If we opened up marriage to all sorts of relationships, it would make no sense and present all sorts of problems.

For example, any union or relationship could claim ‘marriage equality’ and the state would be obliged to support and vindicate this idea of ‘equality’ in its marriage laws. Essentially the state would have to be blind to the nature of the relationship and even the number of people in this relationship . This would be nonsensical and make a mockery of the institution of marriage and its meaning.

We are often told that there is no redefinition of marriage involved in the push for same- sex marriage. That it is simply extending rights to gay and lesbian people.  This does not survive the lightest of scrutiny.

Currently any adult can access marriage regardless of their sexuality so these rights are already there.  It is also obvious that a change from the current view of marriage as between a man and woman to between any 2 legal adults does  involve redefining it for everyone .

Essentially marriage would be genderless and removed from its link to children and family formation and towards a very adult romantic centred meaning.  In my view, it would be reduced in status for everyone.

This won’t happen overnight and it could be many years before society views marriage as more adult and romantic centered but same sex marriage has already started this process which will slowly strip away any link to procreation and children.  This has serious ramifications for society.  It is simply unwise to base marriage ,the most important social institution we have on emotional and romantic feelings.

We are often told by supporters of same- sex marriage that it won’t affect anyone, only the two people getting married. This has already turned out to be a complete myth.  There has been numerous cases already of people being disciplined in work, losing their business or job , demonized and hounded for not supporting same- sex marriage.

The Ashers case in Northern Ireland is a startling example of how the state apparatus can punish you for not believing in or endorsing the concept of same sex marriage. It must be remembered that same sex marriage is not even legal in Northern Ireland and here we have people dragged to court for simply refusing to bake a cake supporting something that is not recognised or legal.

Same – sex marriage and basic freedoms of conscience, speech and association are on a collision course and are not compatible. It has the potential to create deep resentment, hostility and a fractured society. Again, this is something politicians and nearly all proponents of same- sex marriage have failed to grasp and recognise.

It also contradicts the fanciful claims of gay marriage supporters who seem to think that it will create a new tolerant, compassionate society.  On the contrary, we are already seeing a vicious illiberalism and intolerance particularly towards people with traditional views towards marriage.  People of religious faith are particularly vulnerable in this new order and do feel their values and conscience are under attack.

We often hear from campaigners for same-sex marriage that the lesbian, gay , bisexual population is around 10 per cent. Many politicians and commentators have used this figure but it does not correspond to reality  and seems to be used to give the impression that there are more lesbian, gay, bisexual people than there actually is to further certain agendas.

An Irish Times poll in March conducted a Family Values poll and only  4 per cent identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Of course there is a margin of error in any poll and not everyone is honest.  In the UK, the Office for National Statistics puts the figure at 1.5 per cent. In the US the most widely cited polls put the figure at 3.5 per cent.  All of these figures are a long way short of the quoted 10 per cent figure.

Constitutionally, this proposal does not make sense. We are being asked to amend article 41 headed  ‘ The Family’. The Irish Constitution recognises the family based on marriage as ‘the natural primary and fundamental unit group of society’.  It is this because of the openness to new life of the union of man and woman. Without this procreative capacity we don’t have family or society.

In fact human species would die out.  If we vote ‘Yes’ we are inserting into our Constitution that same sex unions, who are without any natural capacity to procreate , are ‘natural primary and fundamental’ to society.  Clearly same sex unions have a great intrinsic value in terms of their love and commitment but are they really the ‘primary and fundamental unit group of society ‘?

Ireland has some of the best and most robust civil partnership legislation in the world provided for same- sex couples. This is most welcome and can be strengthened with Constitutional protection.  In many countries were same-sex marriage has been introduced the take up of it has not been strong and demand low.

Contrary to popular belief many same- sex couples are perfectly happy with civil partnership and  like me believe that marriage is a union of one  man and one woman. Critics of same- sex marriage are often viewed as ‘being on the wrong side of history’.  Personally, I would much rather be on the right side of the truth.

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  • chrisjones2

    “Marriage has been the building block of society since the start of mankind. It predates the state and church and in my view it is rooted in human nature. Practically every society in history has defined marriage as between one man and one woman. ”

    Sorry but this is just plain wrong

    At the start of mankind there is no evidence at all that marriage as we know it existed. People lived in groups. Often the females might live together as did the men. There was no concept of the nuclear family unit – indeed some Asian societies still live this way. Strangely in ancient Jewish tradition the female was required to be faithful to her husband but not him to be faithful to her.

  • Korhomme

    I disagree with many premises here. Marriage began with settled agriculture, the concepts of ‘property’ and of ‘inheritance’. Beforehand, people worked and shared communally; afterwards they worked for themselves. Inheritance was through male children; while a woman always knows that she is the mother of her child, the father doesn’t; hence enforced (and penalised) monogamy for women, but not for men. That idea of marriage was also related to the emergence of the ‘state’ who would recognise it, and (newer) forms of religion.

    Marriage has been redefined several times: it has been dynastic or political; a business partnership; romantic; arranged and forced. While romance is the basis for most marriages today, this largely began in the later 18th century.

    Polygamy has been widespread; polyandry (a single woman and many men), such as in Nepal, is less common.

    In ‘Christian’ countries, marriage didn’t involve the church until the 11/12th centuries. Since then it has changed, at least in the UK, from a canonical contract to a civil one.

    In the 20th century, a working woman in both parts of Ireland could be expected or obliged to give up her work on marriage; a married woman did not exist in law, but was a chattel of her husband’s.

    What is the purpose of the ‘state’? To defend the inhabitants, to arrange facilities which individuals can’t; is it a purpose of the state to determine what defines a ‘family’, to determine what relationships it allows its citizens? Don’t the citizens define the limits and boundaries of the state?

    The only lesson from this is that ‘marriage’ is not static, not fixed in concrete; why should it not change again?

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “Very little of this debate has been about what marriage is actually about, its
    relevance to society and why does the state even take an interest in it.”

    “…marriage is a way of tying children to their biological mother and father. It is
    primarily about family formation and an environment for children, mothers and fathers to identify with one another and bond together.”

    Well you say that but what actually happens at a wedding? Two people who love each other promise to be together ‘til death do us part’. Marriage elevates love from
    being founded on desire to being founded my commitment. Nothing about the vows
    you make during a wedding suggests you are promising to have kids and raise them etc I can see no reason to think that two people of the same gender promising to be together til death do they part redefines marriage.

    All this “its about having kids” stuff is just you defining marriage to suit yourself.

    “Any attempt by the state to redefine the family or be a coercive influence on it should be treated with great suspicion.”

    It is not up to you or the state to define, never mind redefine, what a family is. A
    family can be composed in many different ways. Your narrow conception of a
    heterosexual nuclear family is your attempt to define family in a way that excludes and devalues families you have prejudges against. The reason why we should allow gay marriage is that it stops the state from imposing its own definition of family on the rest of society. If two gay men want to start a family what right do you or the state have to prevent that just because it doesn’t fit your, or the state’s, narrow definition?

    “The fact that same-sex marriage has been imposed either by government or judiciary in all of the other countries that it is currently legal in, only adds weight to my concern.”

    Nobody is imposing same sex marriage. They are permitting it. Not the same thing at all.

    “We are often told by supporters of same- sex marriage that it won’t affect anyone, only the two people getting married. This has already turned out to be a complete myth.”

    Same sex marriage doesn’t affect anyone other than the couple being married. The Asher’s case does not show that same sex marriage affects other people. It shows that a certain PC ideology is being imposed and enforced by the state. This is a separate matter from whether a gay marriage impacts on other people. I agree with you that Asher’s should be free to express their opposition to gay marriage by
    refusing to bake the queerspace cake but the fact that they weren’t is not a consequence of legalization of gay marriage.

  • K.Balendra

    Marriage is essentially between a man and woman for procreation with pleasure and pain. Further it ensures responsibility in bringing up the children equally. When I say equally it does no mean man and woman should be able to “breast feed” the baby
    by taking turns. Woman by nature is soft and her capacity to give cannot be matched.
    it is not necessary for the same sex to marry.What are they going to bring forth?Instead if they like to live together let them do so- call it a union of men and union of women.. Their union is only for sexual pleasure and cannot be an unselfish. But when men and women get married they bring in a third party- a child and they become unselfish by showering the love and affection on the child.
    Further with the passage of time I will not be surprised if human demands marriage with animals violating the animal rights.

  • chrisjones2

    “Woman by nature is soft ” – you have never been to Belfast I assume?

    Joking aside your post is full of sophistry and nonsense that betrays a lot of very basic prejudice and stereotyping

    It is also one of the most inappropriate posts I have seen on here in suggesting that marriqage equality will lead to bestiality.

  • Ultonian

    “Essentially marriage would be genderless and removed from its link to children and family formation and towards a very adult romantic centred meaning. In my view, it would be reduced in status for everyone.”

    This has already happened decades ago with the growth/acceptance of divorce.

    Marriage gets redefined all the time. It did used to include definitions of one man +many women. Still does in some parts of the world.

  • K.Balendra

    You seem to be living in a world of your own surrounded by devils. I live in a word of love surrounded by angels. I am in Asia where girls generally are soft and kind until the western influence came in.
    Your comment does not meet my statement and is devoid of reason. if you want to live with same sex do so. Don’t call it a marriage

  • chrisjones2

    There are now devils or angels save the ones in our imaginations!!

    And for teh record I am as straight as they come happily married and with no interest in other men or women ….but I do have an interest in injustice and intolerenece

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    JamesD, you call this “the right side of truth” yet the contradictions and false reasoning that is inherent in your post are glaring. You give the percentages of the population that are likely to be gay but then state “… in fact human species would die out” So are we 1.5% or 4% or 10% or higher? With the world population exceeding 7 billion 3 years ago this looks pretty unlikely. Or are you being hypothetical? Or are you showing circular cause and consequence.

    Your argument, of course, shows you to be human yet you do not seem to extend the same understanding of humanity to your political opponents that you seem to expect from your readers. You refer to “illiberalism and intolerance” from some of the ‘yes’ supporters. This is simply understandable anger and frustration from those who support a minority interest. It may be inarticulate, even aggressive, but it is a valid expression of grievance against the powerful forces of a conservative hegemony (tyranny of the majority). Try putting yourself in the other camp.

    If you are contesting the change to article 41 of the constitution then take a look at the nature of that constitution and the true extent of how proscriptive it can be. If you are implying that the Irish people are sleepwalking into the demise of society or stability then it can only imply that change is something that we must resist. Yet change happens anyway, usually organically, imperceptibly as well as irresistibly. Significant changes happen within families too. If you are trying to assert that the referendum is an imposition of the state on the people then you don’t seem to understand what a referendum is. Were the Irish ill or mis-informed in the 1937 plebiscite? Don’t underestimate the intelligence and the well informed position of many people. I’m, reminded of De Valera himeslf when he said “If I wish to know what the Irish want, I look into my own heart.” Now the Irish can look into their own hearts and decide what they want for themselves and finally escape such paternalism.

  • John Smith

    Do we agree in Father-Son legal marriage?

    (Judge name):__________________

    http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/father-to-marry-son-with-courts-blessing/#1zpAXT0hadrxmqHS.99

  • John Smith
  • Korhomme

    I read the linked article, not really dad and son. More about inheritance planning and adoption. Impressed though that they have been together for >50 years.

  • John Smith

    So do you see that same-sex couple can marry one of the kids?

  • Turgon

    The idea that the basic unit of society need not necessarily be the marriage of one man and woman is entirely valid. However, the logical outworking of that is not changing marriage solely to make it available to homosexual couples.

    Rather it is to redefine the law’s position to value all committed human relationships be they between one man and one woman; two persons of the same gender; three or more persons. It should also accept these relationships as equal whether or not they are romantic / sexual.

    The logic of saying (correctly) that not all societies have used one man and one woman as their basic building block is to celebrate (presumably with civil partnerships) any relationship between any person and any other person or persons entered into by people all able to give uncoerced consent.

    The state has no business in the bedrooms, private lives etc. of its adult consenting citizens and if it wishes to celebrate and promote committed relationships (which indeed it should do) it should do this without discrimination.

  • Korhomme

    The relationship was of adoption, which was dissolved. So what? What are you trying to say? There are degrees of consanguinity which prohibit heterosexual marriage; I don’t know whether these apply to same sex couples or not. But it’s a so what? argument, and not relevant. And it certainly won’t harm either you or me.

  • Korhomme

    There was a case in New Zealand a few years ago. A biological brother and sister were raised separately. At their marriage, a guest recognised them for what they were. A judge agreed to their marriage, though they were barred from having natural children. Again so what?

  • notimetoshine

    A disgusting commentary the second one I have had the misfortune to read on this site. I don’t know what slugger are playing at.

    Marriage doesn’t automatically equal children. It generally does but not always. By your reasoning those childless couples by choice or biology shouldn’t be married. It is a disgrace. These people marrying and not have children. Abhorrent filth.

    As for this

    “People of religious faith are particularly vulnerable in this new order and do feel their values and conscience are under attack.”

    Thats rich considering the crap gay people have taken and still take from the small minded bores of this world. Shoe on the other foot, eh?

    But the Crux of the argument about it changing the basic structure of the family and marriage is a nonsensical argument. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex don’t. If you want to have a husbandwife and kids with it in a traditional family do so. A couple of gays or lesbians getting married won’t destroy this dynamic or affect them in any way.

    You can only let something like this affect you if you let it.

  • Kevin Cannon

    As the article says, no.

  • Kevin Cannon

    It’s sad that you think so little of marriages between people who can’t have kids 🙁

  • Andrew Gallagher

    Where to start…

    You must also remember that a vast majority of apparent supporters of same- sex marriage believed that marriage is between a man and a woman for much of their entire lives

    Yes, people sometimes change their minds. This is, believe it or not, a good thing.

    The central concern I have with the same-sex marriage proposal is that it gives the state unprecedented power to redefine the institution of marriage

    Nonsense. The state already has this power. Civil marriage is a state-sponsored contract. The state defines who can and cannot be married, and gives certain privileges to those who are. You may belong to a religion that practises polygamy, but the state has the power to overrule you. Gay marriage is not an increase in state power, just a use of it that you disagree with.

    the referendum has been imposed us on needlessly ,without consultation or substantial appetite

    The opinion polls show substantial appetite.

    Contrary to what some- sex marriage activists claim, the state has no significant interest in the romance or love of its citizens

    But it does, absolutely and definitely it does. Imagine a childless widow thrown out of her home because she did not automatically inherit it from her husband. Marriage IS about the personal relationship between two people regardless of children, no matter how many times you deny it.

    Over 90 per cent of countries still define marriage as man and woman and Ireland will be very much in a minority if it decides to redefine marriage

    Using that argument, nothing should ever change because nobody should be the first.

    Same- sex marriage has never been a human right and the European Court of Human Rights has declined to call it any such thing.

    It has stated that same sex marriage is not covered by the Convention, but the Convention is not an exclusive list of rights. In fact, one of the articles specifically says just that.

    Essentially marriage would be genderless and removed from its link to children and family formation and towards a very adult romantic centred meaning. In my view, it would be reduced in status for everyone.

    But that is a status in your estimation, not a status in law. We are talking about changing the law. If it upsets your view of the world, that’s beside the point.

    This won’t happen overnight and it could be many years before society views marriage as more adult and romantic centered but same sex marriage has already started this process which will slowly strip away any link to procreation and children

    This is the slippery slope fallacy. Debate the topic on its own merits, or don’t at all.

    The Ashers case in Northern Ireland is a startling example of how the state apparatus can punish you for not believing in or endorsing the concept of same sex marriage

    This is a separate issue. One can believe in gay marriage or not, and in the merits of the ashers case or not, independently.

    An Irish Times poll in March conducted a Family Values poll and only 4 per cent identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

    So estimates for the gay population vary. Estimates for how many will take up the new opportunity vary. That’s an argument for deprioritising the issue, but that argument is lost. We are having a referendum anyway.

    Contrary to popular belief many same- sex couples are perfectly happy with civil partnership and like me believe that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.

    Bully for them. And there are people who disagree with them. An argument is not won or lost on the identity of its proponents.

    I think other commenters have covered most of the rest. This is weak argumentation.

  • John Smith

    Why?

  • John Smith

    That what they should show to America when they do the polls about same-sex marriage. Maybe they say something more than So what?

  • K.Balendra

    I can only sympathize with them if they cannot have children due to natural causes.

  • K.Balendra

    Devils and angels are only a figure of speech.I too detest injustice and intolerance. but that has nothing to do with gay marriages

  • Kevin Cannon

    By your definition though, their marriage would be selfish and for sexual pleasure, and shouldn’t be called marriage either 🙁

  • Kevin Cannon

    Well, insulting me and being rude will definitely convince me to agree with you.

  • canaduck

    Did you even read the article? They aren’t actually father and son, you colossal dope.

  • John Smith

    What about twin male brothers in love?

    What set of values you use to deny them legal marriage?