I know enough young people who see through the Government’s fallacious “equality” spin to save me from total despair about the apparent incapacity of under-thirties to discern this deception. But it is a hard call.
People have equal rights because they share the same human nature, not because they share the same capacities – which they very evidently do not. The rights which they have to participate in some of the joys of life depend on their capacities, not on their equality as citizens, or their common human dignity. If I cannot sing more than one note it makes little sense for me to protest that I am being denied equality if I fail to make it into the local choral society. Okay, that’s not an exact analogy. I suppose I have a right to form a choir of tone-deaf people if that pleases me. But it doesn’t really make a lot of sense.
Love – as an emotional experience, which is the kind of love everyone seems to be taking about in the context of Ireland’s referendum next Friday, – is not in law a requirement for a valid marriage. Marriages exist without this emotional love, and always have done. Marriages may even exist without the deeper love of selfless commitment. The may not be considered the ideal, but they are still marriages without it. What is the essential element in marriage, what is that which consummates it? In other words, what is that which makes it a real valid marriage? It is what we call the marriage act. That act is only possible between one man and one woman.
In today’s Sunday Times, Conor Brady, former editor of the Irish Times, is posing the question that everyone should at least be asking themselves.
We are forced into a crude choice. A ‘yes’ vote will be hailed as generous and inclusive, but it will subvert the meaning of language. It will redefine an institution that has been fundamental to society down the ages, and it will purport to hold that biological differences mean nothing. Conversely a ‘no’ vote will be interpreted as discriminatory and an endorsement of inequality. Presented with these alternatives, each voter has to choose what seems to be the lesser evil. A great many people, including myself, have yet to decide what that may be.
Bruce Arnold, in today’s Sunday Business Post says “A yes vote will bring irrational chaos into the Constitution”
“Ireland has been told that ‘Same Sex Marriage” is a human right. No nation’s constitution, no international human rights convention has accepted this”. This debate, he adds, “has been bedeviled by emotional and even hysterical demands for an empty ‘equality’ for some, with no consideration given to the consequences for others, least of all for children”.
Add to this the apparent bewilderment of University College Cork’s Emeritus Professor of History, John A. Murphy, voiced last week in the Irish Times.
Thus, if the referendum is passed, Article 41, heretofore unambiguously and exclusively heterosexual, will also recognise a homosexual couple “as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society . . . a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights , antecedent and superior to all positive law”. Moreover such a couple will be guaranteed protection by the State “as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State” (Article 1.2).
Because I reject this grotesque nonsense, I will be voting No.
That the bulk of a whole generation has found it impossible to see these distinctions is bewildering and – almost – brings one to the point of despair. That the future of our world might be in the hands of people who cannot see this is truly worrying.
Please, please convince me that I am not seeing unfold before me what I think see. Surely millennials, so-called generation Y, on which so much depends, will show us that they are capable of more than blind and blinding emotion, surely they will show us that enough of them are capable of reasoning and assure us of our future.