Catholic Comment on Irish Marriage Referendum Debate

Voters in the Republic of Ireland will go to the polls towards the end of May to vote on whether to redefine civil marriage so that it “may be contracted … by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

Petra Conroy from Catholic Comment – Catholic Voices’s sister organization in the Republic of Ireland – was recently invited on RTE Radio 1 to discuss the referendum with presenter Seán O'Rourke and gay rights activist Rory O’Neill.

Conroy argues that a “Yes” vote in May’s referendum would yield an outcome “much more radical” than merely expanding marriage to accommodate gay couples while leaving the institution fundamentally the same. Instead, by redefining marriage, the meaning of the institution is altered for everyone.

“The relationship that brings children into the world,” Conroy notes, “and which connects the child to their parents,” would no longer enjoy unique legal and civic recognition. Keeping the definition of marriage conjugal – one man, one woman, for life – gives children the “best possible chance of being brought up by their birth parents,” she argues.

Listen to the whole discussion by clicking here.

Readers may also find helpful Catholic Voices’s resources on the campaign for conjugal marriage in England and Wales, including our briefing paper, and this collection of interventions by members of Catholic Voices in radio programmes on the subject of same-sex marriage.

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