The Iona Blog

Opinions contained in The Iona Blog are not necessarily those of The Iona Institute. The Iona Blog is open to anyone who broadly shares the views of The Iona Institute. If you wish to post a comment on a relevant topic please email 200 – 400 words to [email protected] and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.

 

The BAI backs ending public debate…on practically everything that matters

By Ben Conroy on 28th May 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

In a piece in The Irish Times today Laura Slattery basically calls for a total end to the debate about same-sex marriage. She quotes from an interview she did with Michael O'Keeffe, the BAI chief executive, a while ago, and says she “asked him whether same-sex marriage would still be regarded as the subject of current public debate if the referendum were passed. Could the No side continue to insist, citing the code, that expressions of equality must be countered by faith-fuelled pronouncements? O’Keeffe responded: “On the assumption that it is passed, then it’s a legal right. For me that should probably be the end of the matter as a matter of public debate.”

 

Keep informed: Sign up to the Iona e-letter

By Admin on 27th May 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Iona Institute helped to represent the almost 750,000 voters who voted against the redefinition of marriage and the family on May 22. No political party was willing to represent those voters. We will continue to argue for the importance of marriage in society and for the rights of religious believers in an increasingly secularised society. To keep informed about our activities please sign up to our free e-letter.

 

The effects of the proposed amendment on future laws: a response

By David Quinn on 2010. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

On the "Constitution Project" blog recently, Dr Conor O'Mahony of UCC Law Department, took issue with points made by Dr Tom Finegan of Mothers and Fathers Matter on the likely effects of the proposed referendum on future laws on adoption, surrogacy and donor-assisted human reproduction. Now, Dr Finegan responds to Dr O'Mahony's critique explaining why it ignores several key factors and fails to rebut the No side's legal analysis.

 

Legal Opinion: Preference for motherhood and fatherhood in Irish law likely to be unconstitutional under new Article 41

By Admin on 5th May 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

If we pass the marriage referendum as the Government wants it will have profound changes on how we view the family in our law. A major legal opinion commissioned by The Iona Institute examines this question. It shows that our ability to give preference to motherhood and fatherhood in Irish law will be severely and probably wholly undermined. The legal opinion is by Michael Collins SC and Paul Brady BL. The opinion examines the Constitution, and in particular Article 41, called ‘The Family’, in the light of various rulings by the Supreme Court.

 

"I was raised by two women - here's why I would vote No"

By Admin on 30th April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

"Heather Has Two Mommies" was a children's picture book published in 1989, about a child being raised by a lesbian couple. For Heather Barwick, this scenario was her life. Speaking at the recent interdisciplinary conference on marriage and the family, Heather told her story, saying that while she loves the women who raised her, that didn't take away her deep desire for a father.

 

David Quinn explains why he is voting No on RTE's This week

By Admin on 28 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

David Quinn appeared on 'This Week' on RTE Radio One on Sunday to explain why he is voting No in the marriage referendum May 22. In particular David explained why the passage of the Children and Family Relationships Act has not taken the issue of children out of the marriage debate.

 

Michael McDowell believes the ideal is to be raised by a mother and father. So why not promote it?

By David Quinn on 26 Jan 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Former Justice Minister, Attorney General and PD member, Michael McDowell may dissent from liberal orthodoxies on matters of economics but he has always been reliably liberal on social issues and therefore it is no surprise that he is for same-sex marriage. But I’m not sure about his reasoning.

 

Does the Yes side believe in the ‘Irish mammy’ or not?

By Ben Conroy on April 10 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Tánaiste Joan Burton (pictured) has been telling a story recently. She recounted it at the end of her speech at the Labour Party Conference, and told the Irish language online magazine Tuairisc.ie too. Speaking in support of a Yes vote in the marriage referendum, Burton says that she was struck by one woman she met in Moneygall, Co Offaly, who said she wanted her son, who is gay, to "settle down". "This was an Irish mammy thing," she said. "

 

The modern version of ‘error has no rights’

By David Quinn on 7 April 15. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

We know a moral viewpoint has hardened and slipped its moorings when it will brook no public dissent. The pro-same sex marriage viewpoint has reached that stage. Those who do not believe in same-sex marriage are to be treated by society as the moral equivalent of racists and under certain circumstances to be prosecuted by the law. We see this happening right now in Indiana

 

Indiana Hysteria Is A Warning for Ireland

By Ben Conroy on 2nd April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

As the debate over same-sex marriage continues in the lead-up to Ireland's referendum on the question, the prospect of allowing a "conscience clause" has been thoroughly rejected by the Yes side. The US State of Indiana recently tried to pass a law that might give some prospect of protection to the likes of Asher's - and it's fair to say that supporters of same-sex marriage exploded.

 

David Quinn and Colm O'Gorman Debate Same-Sex Marriage "Conscience Clause"

By Admin on 27th March 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

David Quinn appeared on Morning Ireland, debating Colm O'Gorman of Amnesty International about the introduction of a "conscience clause" protecting the freedom of conscience rights of bakers, printers, and other citizens who don't support same-sex marriage, in the event that the referendum was passed. It's an important and relevent debate to have, as the Asher's Bakery case in Northern Ireland is currently ongoing. In that case, a small family-run bakery was asked to bake a cake bearing the slogan "Support Gay Marriage" and then taken to court by Northern Ireland's equality commission when they refused.

 

Union of a man and a woman "irreplaceable" says Archbishop Martin

By Admin on 20 March 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Last night Archbishop Diarmuid Martin addressed a meeting of The Iona Institute attended by over 200 people. His topic was 'The Teaching of the Church on Marriage Today'. In the course of the talk he addressed the topic of the nature of marriage.

 

Questions the media aren't asking, and the Yes side aren't answering

By Ben Conroy on 19th March 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The two sides in this referendum debate, so far as I can see, don't just disagree. They disagree about what it is they're disagreeing about. Most of those I've seen arguing for a Yes vote sincerely believe that this is, wholly and solely, a debate about who should be able to get married.Unfortunately for the public, the media are (for the most part) accepting the Yes side’s framing of the issue. In a fairer debate, it'd be great to hear the Yes side, and those who fully support the Children and Family Relationships Bill (CFR Bill), being asked questions like this:

 

The testimony of a donor-conceived adult

By Ben Conroy on 12th March 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Other

Elizabeth Howard, a woman from England who was conceived through sperm donation, was on the Right Hook programme on Newstalk yesterday. Howard, who wrote for the Guardian last year about the experience of being the child of an anonymous “donor”, made it clear to George Hook that she thought all sperm donation was unethical. “I don't think removing anonymity really helps” she said.

 

What Pope Francis said when same-sex marriage was being debated in Argentina

By David Quinn on 11 March 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

In 2010, Argentina legalised same-sex marriage. At the time, Pope Francis was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He voiced his strong opposition to the proposal. This is quite contrary to the common misconception that he is silent on the issue. Since becoming Pope, Francis has reiterated many of the things he said in Argentina.

 

Fergus Finlay, Falling Skies, and Three Simple Questions on the Family Bill

By Ben Conroy on 5th March 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Fergus Finlay was writing in The Irish Examiner this week about the Child and Family relationships, and his piece unfortunately follows a familiar template adopted by most of the legislation's defenders. It goes something like this: 1. Talk about the good bits of the bill 2. Avoid any questions that might be awkward. 3. Assure people that everything's A-OK, and that anyone who raises any of the questions you've just dodged is peddling fear.

 

How different polling questions on same-sex marriage get different results

By David Quinn on 2 March 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

When two different questions get quite different results on the same issue it is a good sign that voter intentions on that issue are volatile. Thus it was that a poll by Red C and another one by Millward Brown on the issue of same-sex marriage and conducted within a week of each other got significantly different outcomes.

 

The Government’s disastrous attitude towards marriage

By David Quinn on 27 Feb 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Let’s forget for a moment about the upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage and consider instead the disastrous attitude of our Government and opposition parties towards marriage overall. Taoiseach Enda Kenny summed it up very well last week when he reduced what marriage is all about to two words, “I do”.

 

Justice Minister happy to see fathers cut out of the lives of children

By Admin on 25th February 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Frances Fitzgerald’s speech last night introducing the Children and Family Relationships Bill to the Dail was a masterpiece of evasion, in particular when she commented on the aspects of the Bill dealing with Donor Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR). Here's what she had to say: “The Bill will not change the rights of most children in terms of parentage. A child who is the natural child of a heterosexual couple will have exactly the same parentage rights as at present. That child will continue to be the child of his or her birth mother and natural father. However, two categories of children will get the chance to GAIN a parent or parents as a result of this Bill. A donor-conceived child will get the right, under this legislation, to gain a second parent. As it stands, if the child is born to a female same-sex couple, that child has only one legally recognised parent if the donor is unknown.”

 

Explaining to Fintan O'Toole the reasoning behind Article 41

By David Quinn on Feb 19 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

It’s fair to say that Fintan O’Toole doesn’t like the section on the Irish Constitution that deals with the family, that is to say, Article 41. In his column in Tuesday's Irish Times he associates it with de Valera’s Ireland and finds the article to be more or less incomprehensible.

 

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