Roscommon / South Leitrim: Bold Child or ‘Deliverance’ Country

Referendum Map

Recently one of my children had a birthday party at our house. One of the adults asked them if they now felt older? The child appeared a little bemused before emphatically replying ‘No’. For the majority of people in this State the same applies to us today. Yesterday was a significant moment in our Nation’s history but it is hard for many to describe how this different new reality actually feels. Many of these same people voted magnanimously to extend the right of marrying the person they love to all citizens. Marriage is no longer the preserve of heterosexual couples and marriage will be simply defined as a union of two people based on the bond of love. Yet so much in our Country remains the same. The weather forecast for Ireland yesterday said that it would be sunny, with the rain spreading in from the West and patchy showers later in the afternoon. Strangely in a scene similar to that in the film ‘Grounghog Day’, the weather forecast for today also says that there would be sunny spells, followed by showers spreading from the West later. No change there then! But things have changed, dramatically, especially for the many supporters of what will become the 34th Amendment to our Constitution. Many will have woken up feeling that they are now living in a more tolerant, accepting society, a country that despite today’s weather forecast, will seem just a little bit warmer than it did yesterday.

Except in Roscommon-South Leitrim that is, where many ‘Yes’ supporters are disappointed that their Constituency is the odd man / woman out by not voting yes to Marriage Equality. Outside the Constituency the response has been predictable enough. Twitterati and Facebookers are quick to point the accusing finger at those homophobic, medievalists that populate this area. Some of the comments are particularly uninformed and generic. One comment suggested people in the area were banjo-playing opportunistic rapists waiting for a ‘purdy mouth’ to come along. Comparing Roscommon-South Leitrim to ‘Deliverance’ country does not however cut as deep as to be ridiculed by one’s own. 

Many expats decried Roscommon and South Leitrim kinspeople for letting them down and spoiling the party. The comedienne, Katherine Lynch said that ‘Leitrim was dead to her’, but the Mohill native is known for being tongue in cheek, and I hope she is this time too. Others made quips about Roscommon seceding and joining Zimbabwe, more suggested that if the Referendum was about marrying cousins or farm animals, there would have been a better response. Most of the authors of such comments probably only did so for fun but the cumulative effect of this condemnation is to pillory and castigate a rural constituency where 48.52% of Voters actually supported the idea of Gay marriage. That is phenomenal figure yet many ‘Yes’ campaigners are quick to forget about those same people who made the effort to go out and vote for the same cause as them. Such an attitude seems bizarre and is surely the best recent example of throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

  In such a rush to chastise and cajole the Voters of Roscommon-South Leitrim it seems completely lost on the accusers of just how paradoxical their utterances are; especially in light of what they themselves were asking the people of Ireland to do last Friday. In doing so and in disregarding the right of a person to Vote in whatever way they wished, the accusers are themselves guilty of spreading intolerance, narrow-mindedness and prejudice. In many ways it spoiled some of the positivity that emanated from the result. Surely any accuser should wait and carry out a little analysis of why there was a higher percentage of No voters in this area than any other constituency.  Don’t  forget the referendum was carried by a slim margin of just 33 votes in Donegal North East and was in the low fifties in some other areas. Roscommon-South Leitrim is only unique because the bar is set at 50%, the simple majority rule , and it just fell short of that threshold. 

This is a predominantly rural community but its traditionalism and conservatism does not always stand up to scrutiny. Leitrim is home of one of the seven signatories of our Proclamation of Independence and a true social revolutionary, Sean MacDiarmada. It also is the birthplace of the socialist Jimmy Gralton, the only man to be deported from the country of his birth for his ‘radicalism’.  It is the home of John McGahern a paradigm of tolerance, respect and liberal values. Leitrim is also well known for its large Bohemian community of artists, writers and sculptors who have certainly made the area more diverse in both thought and outlook. So why is the area so out of kilter with the predominantly urban / sub-urban parts of the country. Firstly, I’d advise anyone who supports the lazy sterotyping of the constituents here as homophobic banjo players, to take a short tour through the Constituency and make a few notes on the following matters in particular;

  1. What do think of the vibrancy of the towns in the area? Are the high streets thriving?
  2. Did you meet many young people in the 18-35 age bracket?
  3. How did you travel by the way? Was it by public transport? Doubtful.
  4. How many flourishing businesses did you see?
  5. Make sure to bring bottled water (it’s a case of ‘water water everywhere but not a drop to drink’ in large areas here you cant even drink the tap water?
  6. Did it take you long to upload one of your barbed comments to your social media account? Seriously try it, the broadband here is terrible and satellite alternatives are expensive.

If you tried the above suggestions you’d invariably find many depressed market towns, some dead, some dying, others like Carrick-on-Shannon dependent on tourism and weekends of stag and hen parties. But when the stags and hens leave, and we clean up after them, nothing much has changed. There are very little employment opportunities in the area, most of the young people have left and one of the best barometers to confirm this is the local GAA clubs struggling to field teams. So what about those who are left? The majority are members of a demographic that the yes campaign had most difficulty connecting with throughout the country, nothing unique there. The difference is that a larger percentage of them reside here proportionally than in any other constituency. We have the oldest electorate, fact.

Not all ‘No’ voters in the area are part of this traditional, conservative group and the majority, I’m absolutely sure of this, are not homophobic. This is an area where the people are frustrated and disconnected from Government and Politics in general. Their communities are decimated by the loss of essential services; Rural post offices – Gone, Rural Garda Stations – Gone, Rural Scools and teaching posts – under threat,  Public Transport- almost non-existent with routes been cut by Bus Eireann annually. Oh and on your tour you will have noticed the motorway ended before Mullingar. The IDA rarely ever visits places like Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon and therefore he chances of major investment is slim. The largest employer in the north of the area, MBNA, is gone and despite all the assurances of Minister Bruton no replacement has been found. Those small and medium enterprises that do exist find they are hamstrung by poor infrastructure, especially the lack of adequate broadband. A mobile phone call usually involves leaving the house and finding a place of optimum coverage, maybe climb up on the roof or up a tree! Mental Health campaigners will confirm that the erosion of services has led the greater isolation amongst the elderly in the area, many of whom have had their home help hours cut back. The area also has had the highest rates of suicide in the country particularly amongst our young people. When people talk about Equality do they factor these issues in to the equation. 

Many will say these issues have nothing to do with the Marriage equality Referendum but such a view is foolish and naïve. The Voters in this area are completely disconnected from National Government and detached from the prevailing messages of the mainstream Dublin based media. They are chastised now as bold children who did not do what they were expected and urged to do. That is precisely the point, a community that has been neglected so much in terms of investment, both socially and economically will also be prone not to toe the establishment line. And let’s be absolutely clear, whatever about past prejudice and mores, supporting same sex marriage is the establishment view and was advocated by all the main political parties. 

It is in such an environment as exists in Roscommon and South Leitrim that induces the people to elect people such as Ming Flanagan and Michael Fitzmaurice, two men who many in polite society on this Island would consider square pegs in the neat round holes of Dail Eireann. Yes campaigners will also say that the vote in traditional working class areas was high but all this shows is that rural and urban deprivation are two different creatures altogether. This constituency and its people are rooted in the soil, its towns developed to serve the farming hinterland in a symbiotic model. Now both are in decline and nothing is been done to address it. The influence of the church is also a red herring. There are hardly any vocations now for the priesthood in this area no more than Dublin or Cork or any of the cities and mass attendances have dwindled. The voters here are as likely to react negatively to Mother Church telling them ‘Vote No’ as to the Taoiseach telling them to ‘Vote Yes’.

Despite all the foregoing almost half of the people who voted in Roscommon South Leitrim voted YES to change, Yes to a more inclusive society for members of the LGBT community. That is something the YES keyboard warriors should be celebrating and instead of pulling the plug and letting their own children flow out with the bathwater. Many people from the area who would be voting ‘Yes’ now live in other parts of the country and contributed to the Yes campaigns and votes in those areas. In the run up to the election many ‘Yes’ campaigners told us this Referendum was about promoting tolerance of difference and respect for minorities. Surely then if the accusers are genuine and honest, they should extend the same respect to the people of Roscommon South Leitrim who simply didn’t agree with them, something which it is their hard won, Constitutional right to do so. As Evelyn Beatrice Hall famously wrote ‘.   “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’. 

The only way of depicting the Roscommon South-Leitrim result as indefensible is to portray the constituents as backward, conservative zealots and such a strategy diminishes the core and heart of what was achieved by the ‘Yes’ campaign in this Referendum. So a huge sorry from us for not being above-average and being 13% behind the average test score nationally. Feel free to go ahead and bully us on the internet. At least Marian Keyes had the decency to apologise but insults are like toothpaste, once out its impossible to get it back into the tube.

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22 thoughts on “Roscommon / South Leitrim: Bold Child or ‘Deliverance’ Country

  1. Barry

    Unfortunately this is just another example of the intolerance Irish people are only too ready to display when someone disagrees with their/the widely held opinion.Nobody has the right to criticise how someone else voted, nobody. The Yes side wondered what the No side meant when they said there was fear of disclosing their concerns about the effects of the referendum if the Yes side won, in fact they were ridiculed for saying people were afraid. Since the results have been released there has been nothing but gloating and obscene behaviour from a portion of the Yes camp, most noticeably on social media, and involving some people who should know friggin better. Marian Keyes indiscretion is mentioned here, Panti Bliss has been derogatory on his/her facebook page, and ordinary people have really been letting loose.

    My biggest problem with what’s happened, aside from the way this referendum was orchestrated and campaigned on (by both sides), is how we are after teaching a new generation of voters to win, ie using intolerance and bullying to get their way. This country has quite a number of important issues in the offing, with a few more referendums on the way, I shudder to think what’s coming down the line.

    Rather than ridiculing, insulting and calling for the heads of people who advocated a No vote, Yes voters need to realise that nearly 40% of the country did not vote, and of those that did nearly 40% voted No. The nation needs to heal now, and we all need to come together, something which will not be possible without decent people on the Yes side stepping up and silencing the nasty element in their camp. That goes for the No side too, a long hard look needs to be had at the truly homophobic element in their ranks. There were morons on both sides. Let’s move on.

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    1. murphymediji

      It might have helped somewhat had the NO campaign not used – in almost all arguments – lies and tangential lines of discourse, most of which had already been dealt with previously by experts and relevant government officials… When it’s made clear that this was not a referendum which would affect adoption, then it behoves the NOs to remove that from their own speech patterns. If anything, NO voters should feel ashamed for allowing moronic gowls like Ronan Mullins to have anything to do with their side of things, especially after his own part in covering up child abuse scandals (as spokesman and apologist for the Church). The sole NO voter that I know of, who came out of this with any amount of dignity is, and ironically so, Archbishop Martin… which absolutely astounds me.

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      1. Barry

        Thanks for your comment murphymediji, let me make it clear though, I’m not defending either side. However the No voters put forward concerns about the impact of this, it was the task of the Yes side to debunk these arguments and try bring people on board. Unfortunately, it being such an emotive issue, the Yes side all but failed at this. Yes, there were experts and relevant organisations stating that many No arguments were misguided, but for the most part there was no tolerance of the No side, ironically they were the ones called bigots….bigots! I can’t remember how many people I had to educate about the word bigot, and how in fact it was the Yes side that was bigoted. Not all the No sides concerns were invalid. Unfortunately they got drowned out by both the nutty element on the No side, and the vitriol coming from the Yes side.

        Two weeks out from the referendum I was called, to my face, a “homophobic ****” for simply stating I was undecided. That’s how ridiculous people got.

        I find your comment about No voters slightly insulting, many of them did carry themselves with dignity, and were pleased to see how happy and accepted it has made the gay community of Ireland. Once the result was clear I heard many of the prominent No voices on RTE and Newstalk congratulating the Yes campaign, applauding those who got out and voted, and speaking of repairing the country. What have we heard from the Yes side? Very little recognition of the fact that so many people voted no, talk of how this “wasn’t just about gay marriage, this has changed everything”, even thought the referendum being “just about gay marriage” was one of their main claims, and of course, the muppets on social media calling for prominent No campaigners to be removed from jobs and academic positions. It strikes me that it is the Yes side who are guilty of having a lack of dignity, in fact it seems that we have simply swapped one form of intolerance for another.

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  2. john byrne (@JByrne65)

    As usual a well written piece borne out by on the ground facts not spin by Doctors paid by the government with your money to blind you. almost 800000 people said no yet only one jurisdiction done it en masse remember members of your own friends group voted no but you will never know whats in their minds, just like the combined government cabal who led you to vote but not to change the presidential age vote as that is preserved for out of date TDs. remember also these same parties made you vote twice for Lisbon.

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  3. Garreth

    I wish people would stop trying to explain this result as if there is some deeper meaning to it. Its just a quirk of the electoral system. All of rural Ireland voted No. Roscommon-South Leitrim is just 1% more rural than other counties. The country voted Yes. That’s all that matters.

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  4. Leon Quinn

    I’ve read your article and Paddy McKenna’s which has similar sentiment but I’m not sure I agree with the picture of Leitrim painted by you or him. The Leitrim I know and the one that I live and work in 24/7 is not the backward, broadband less, youthless place you say. I know many young people and many small thriving businesses and I can’t remember the last time someone from here told me they had no broadband. There’s a vibrancy and creative/adventurous atmosphere with some excellent facilities and infrastructure especially with the new Blueway and river activity sector.

    I’m not sure why we voted no here but it doesn’t really matter or require any analysis, excuses or justification in my opinion.

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    1. gerrykilrane Post author

      Leon, thank you for your reply and your points are noted. The piece is in response to the vast number of intolerant comments about Roscommon-South Leitrim and is not meant as an analysis of the substance of the Yes and No arguments. As a resident of the area since birth I have seen many positive developments but there are huge swathes of the rural areas where the lack of good broadband and patchy mobile phone networks is a huge issue. I’m not just giving this second hand, that is my experience. Of course there are pockets where the coverage is excellent, especially around towns like Carrick-on-Shannon and the Shannon corridor. Just this morning I was on the phone to a person who was driving from Killeshandra to Mohill and the phone coverage was such that I had to ring the person four times as we were constantly losing coverage. As for the drift of over 18’s, I went to school here and my class photo shows 30 young men of whom just 3 now live in the County. Is there a County in Ireland that has the same levels of migration / emigration? The infrastructure is crumbling, our local road network is suffering from severe underfunding. The water is undrinkable in many parts of Roscommon. Public Transport is being rowed back. Rural Post offices and Garda Stations have closed. As have several rural schools. So its not as if either myself or Paddy McKenna have just invented these facts. Of course I acknowledge the great work that people are doing and some great projects as well and you will note from my blog I am very proud of my County, proud of the warm, welcoming nature of its people and its where I intend to rear my family too.

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  5. Mike Leahy

    If the Yes voters in Leitrim voted Yes to ‘a more inclusive society for members of the LGBT community’, this can only imply that No voters voted for a LESS inclusive society for lesbian and gay people. Therefore when you say that you are sure that the majority of No voters in Leitrim (and elsewhere?) are not homophobic, what does this mean? Is it possible to believe that Ireland should be a less inclusive society for homosexuals and to still claim that one is not homophobic? (‘I’m not homophobic but…’)

    Also, in relation to one of the above comments, that ‘not all the No sides concerns were invalid’. Which ones were valid?

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    1. gerrykilrane Post author

      Thank you Mike for your comments which are noted. This is not a treatise on the reasons some people Voted Yes and some Voted No. However your initial point is based on an implication you choose to make, thus imposing your own interpretation of what defines homophobia. I genuinely believe the majority of people who voted No did so for reasons outside the classic interpretation of homophobia as bearing an irrational aversion, fear or contempt for an individual or group based on their homosexuality.

      It may that you believe that any person not prepared to extend the right to marriage to all person,s irrespective of their sexual orientation, is homophobic. I simply don’t share those absolutes. Similarly I am not trying to justify what is or is not a valid reason for a person to either Vote Yes or No, provided that validity is not premised on a hatred, contempt or aversion to people on the basis of their sexuality. Such reasons may not be valid for you but that in itself doesn’t make them invalid. I am merely trying to link the demography and economic / social conditions and their influence on voting patterns. That is all.

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  6. Mike Leahy

    Your argument, as I understand it, is that the No vote in Roscommon/ South Leitrim is rooted to some extent in attitudes arising from economic and social neglect and political frustration. You say that given these circumstances, it is phenomenal that a significant minority of such a rural community voted yes. In doing this, you make a case against those who have poured scorn on this area’s electorate. I think that this argument is well-made and illuminating.

    What is not clear is when you discuss the motivations of the No voters. You suggest that they were not voting out of an ‘aversion’ to gay people’s participation in civic life (an aversion that would constitute homophobia according to the dictionary definition you put forward) and that they had not invalid reasons for voting no. I would like to know more about what this more benign No perspective looks like. As it is you have merely defined it through double negatives (not anti-gay; not invalid) and linked it with economic deprivation and poor infrastructure. What are the characteristics and values of this gay-tolerant No voter who is equally suspicious of the Church and the government?

    I am not making any claims that No voters are homophobic. Rather, I think that the term is problematic in this instance (whether you claim that No voters either are or are not homophobic) because it is always subject to where and how you see (or don’t see) ‘fear’ and ‘aversion’ manifest themselves. Some may see it manifested in a vote that rejects gay people’s inclusion in certain institutions: others may not.

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  7. Eoin

    Maybe it’s not that the people of Roscommon South Leitrim voted No in higher numbers than the rest of the country because of social neglect, but that the demographics of the area are different than most of the rest of the country due to this neglect – it’s very likely that there was a fairly strong correlation between age and vote in all counties.

    Isn’t it bigoted to criticise people for their beliefs. In fact all this discussion of the No voters is a bit ridiculous – there were two options on the ballot paper for a reason. I doubt if many would claim that reasoned debate won the day. Had the Yes side engaged in a debate instead of accusing No voters of being homophobes, they might have won more of them over. How were No voters to reason their way towards voting Yes when they couldn’t even discuss the issue without being abused. Name calling rarely wins hearts and minds, in fact it usually has a polarising effect.

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  8. Pingback: Interpreting the results of Ireland’s 2015 marriage referendum | Propaganda Department

  9. anthonydurity

    Thoughtful piece and mostly thoughtful comments.

    If I understand your argument correctly you are saying that years of rural neglect by national government has led to social conditions that has created a demographic resistant to the call for equality. In essence you are defending the No voters of this region by pointing to external factors.

    The thing is, if the majority of the country had voted No, would that mean that those who voted Yes had voted wrongly? Of course not. So you do not in fact need to defend the result from this region. What I mean is that it must be possible to explain the result without resorting to any defence other than the right of everybody to hold and express an opinion, no matter how objectionable to you that opinion might be.

    I think your analysis shows why, relatively speaking, Roscommon – South Leitrim voted majority No. I mull over the implications[1] in a piece I wrote. Specifically I suggest the creation of a new large urban centre in the West Midlands to counteract the social forces you discuss. I’d be interested to hear what you think.

    [1] http://leto.electropoiesis.org/propaganda/marriage-referendum/

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  10. Leon Quinn

    I’m sorry but I think that while people had a right to choose Yes or No, choosing No meant they were effectively trying to deny a section of society a basic right. While I don’t think “homophobic” is the right word it’s basic discrimination on some level surely?

    However my gut instinct here is not that people voted No here and elsewhere because they wanted to discriminate or because of social neglect, age etc.. but because of the children factor, ie they were too easily swayed by the central No campaign message that voting Yes would affect children in some mad way. That saddens me if so.

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    1. Barry

      In every referendum regarding a change to our constitution there is a sizable No vote. People are always wary of such a change, and the truth is that while it was amazing to see how a Yes win affected gay people on Saturday we don’t know the full implications of this further down the road. I wasn’t swayed by the No sides arguments, I voted No as 1) I felt there was no sense of fairness about this referendum right from the beginning, 2) the political parties did their best to stifle debate within their ranks, 3) I felt it important that there be some distinction between heterosexual couples and homosexual couples, not having one being less equal than the other, but just a distinction in terms of family etc, and 4) I was thoroughly unimpressed with the carry on of the Yes side, labeling No voters as bigoted, homophobic scum. Something that’s continuing to this very day. The likes of the two Fianna Fail members resigning from the party over politicians not actively canvassing is a prime example of the intolerance people have for anyone that doesn’t agree with them, those politicians may not have had the right to publicly state they were voting No due to the party whip system, but to be criticised over what way they may or may not have voted in a referendum is disgusting and shows these twitter and facebook tools that they have some justification attacking anyone who called for a No vote. Shame on them.

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      1. Leon Quinn

        Barry, it sounds to me like you overthought the issue a little and allowed yourself to be swayed by external influences a little too much when all you were being asked was to allow to people to be married!? I fear this is the same reason why everyone else voted No too.

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      2. Barry

        Thanks for your comment Leon.

        How did you arrive at that conclusion? I indicated that my mind had been made up before the last push by both campaigns so external influences didn’t really come into play for me. I was an observer more than anything during the last two weeks, and I hated what I was seeing, from both sides…..

        And we were being asked to do more than simply allow two people to marry, had this been the case I would have been firmly with the Yes side, no, we were being asked to alter the constitutional article that deals with the family. I appreciate that families come in all shapes and sizes these days, and I’m in no place to judge any of them, I will agree with the Yes side that so long as love is at the centre of each family then what harm. However I still believe that there should be recognition of the fact that a homosexual couple cannot become a family without the aid of a third party, and while the end product is still the same that fact should have been recognised. Does that recognition make a homosexual couple less equal than a heterosexual couple? Not in my opinion. Could we have enacted the right for same sex marriage in a different area of the constitution? Absolutely, indeed we should have.

        It’s worth noting that there was a substantial number of gay people who voted No also, for the very reason I’ve stated above. Yet they were also labeled as being homophobic. The mind boggles.

        Irregardless of why I voted No, or why you may have voted Yes (just assuming), the Yes side won and that’s that. Myself, and other No voters I’ve spoken to, accept the choice the majority made and are happy to do so. We didn’t come at this from a place of homophobia or bigotry. There may be some on the No side who don’t accept this, and I feel sorry for them. My point remains though, the reaction from some of the Yes side has been disgusting, more than disgusting. I still believe that we’ve just swapped one form of intolerance (which was dying out slowly) for a new form of intolerance, an intolerance we’ve now engrained in the generations behind us.

        Brendan O’Neill sums it up quite accurately in this opinion piece:

        http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/referendum/the-striking-thing-about-the-yes-camp-was-its-intolerance-31248496.html

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      3. Leon Quinn

        Here’s why I arrived at that conclusion Barry! To quote you:

        “I voted No as 1) I felt there was no sense of fairness about this referendum right from the beginning, 2) the political parties did their best to stifle debate within their ranks, 3) I felt it important that there be some distinction between heterosexual couples and homosexual couples, not having one being less equal than the other, but just a distinction in terms of family etc, and 4) I was thoroughly unimpressed with the carry on of the Yes side, labeling No voters as bigoted, homophobic scum. ”

        You seem to want the question we were being asked to be expanded upon rather than just answering the question at hand which I might remind you was this:

        “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” – Agree/Disagree?

        See. No mention of the word family. Surrogacy, adoption, fostering etc were unaffected and continue to remain legal now for any combination of sexes.

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      4. Barry

        Thanks again for the comment Leon, though I fail to see how quoting what I had said back at me shows how I was influenced by external forces!

        At its most basic you are correct, it’s a simple question, and one that would be very hard to say No to in ideal circumstances. However these circumstances are far from ideal. No mention of the word ‘family’ can be found in the change that has been made, but the fact that it is being inserted into the The Family section of the constitution says it all really. I’ve no issue with anyone adopting or fostering a child so long as they are properly vetted and the child’s welfare is of paramount concern, in fact I admire anyone who applies to do such a thing, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or family circumstances. So long as the system works and the child is in a better place than they otherwise could be I’ve no objections.

        Surrogacy on the other hand, I’ve serious reservations about it, and would rather it was not an option…ever…for anyone. I know it’s legal at the moment, and I know the govt have promised to legislate on it. Isn’t it true that any legislation can be challenged on constitutional grounds? Hasn’t it happened many times before in this country? Now that we’ve inserted the right for same sex marriage in the article that deals with ‘The Family’, is it so inconceivable that any legislation dealing with surrogacy can be legally challenged as it may be restricting a married homosexual couple from having their own family? I don’t believe so, I believe it’s only a matter of time before this happens.

        Anyways, what’s done is done. I respect the decision the people came to, and I respect your point of view. I just don’t believe that it’s as basic as the Yes side made it out to be.

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  11. Michael Leahy

    If the institution of marriage is compromised because ‘a homosexual couple cannot become a family without the aid of a third party’, then where does that leave a heterosexual bereaved or divorced spouse with children who wants to remarry. Shouldthose third-party families be equally denied the status of marriage? Or is it just gay people? Once again, I struggle to locate a No perspective that isn’t exercising a very distinct and pointed set of exclusions.

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