The merry month of May is almost upon us, and summer is coming, and so is a referendum … on marriage equality. Regarding the latter, the nutcases seem to be out and about already. Because, you see, stand where you want on marriage equality – but decide on the question actually asked, I say.
Driving through our rural backwater I saw the first “Vote No!” poster. And nearly crashed the car laughing.
There we have the eternal Irish stereotype poster child, all innocence and red hair. “Think about the children!” And a sentence that hammers home the issues at hand: “SHE NEEDS HER MOTHER FOR LIFE, NOT JUST FOR 9 MONTHS” Hang on, what are we voting about here, folks? The headline makes it clear: “SURROGACY?”
Okay, I thought, I might have missed a bit here … being generally fed up with politics I tend to pay not too much attention to details at times. But I had not, until now, grasped the fact that there is a vote on surrogacy coming up. My bad, let me check this with the Referendum Commission – Official Website. They should know.
Unfortunately, the nincompoops at the Referendum Commission seem to have it wrong as well. Because there is only mention of the referenda on Marriage and Presidential Age (the latter about as useful as nipples on a breastplate, to quote George R.R. Martin). And having a closer look at the Marriage Referendum, I notice that this seems to concern only one sentence, as the following will be added to Article 41 of the Constitution:
“Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”
Now, no mention of surrogacy here … but in the small print there is a mention of the dreaded S-word:
Donor assisted births
The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 deals with parentage in the cases of donor assisted births but not with surrogacy. While the Act has been passed, it is not intended to bring these particular provisions into effect for at least a year.
The Act provides that a mother’s spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner will be able to become the second parent of a child provided certain conditions are met. One of these is that the birth mother and the intending second parent consent in advance that they will be the parents of any child born through donor-assisted human reproduction. The donor will also have to consent in advance that he or she is a donor and does not intend to be a parent of the child.
Which sounds, to me at least, very much like a heterosexual or lesbian couple pulling in a sperm donor, with that donor waiving all rights, and the non-birth-giving partner becoming a legal parent. It does not touch upon surrogacy at all (which may disappoint gay couples), and it certainly does not rip a baby from his or her mother’s womb, to be spirited away by an unscrupulous person of undetermined sexual preference …
So, as the young folks say, WTF is that “Vote No!” poster on about?
It is published and put on display by an outfit calling itself “Mothers & Fathers Matter Website“, and its credo is simple (or even simplistic):
We believe that the Government’s new Children and Family Relationships Bill is unjust because it says mothers and fathers don’t matter to children. Mothers and Fathers Matter also favours retaining the present definition of marriage because this is in the best interests of children. Mothers and Fathers Matter Matter favours retaining the present definition of marriage in the Constitution.
So, it is all about the children. The poor wee ones. Cue tears in the Irish mammy’s eyes, and a lump in Padraig’s throat. And the best interest of children? Why, obviously, a heterosexual couple as parents. Because shirtlifters and those unspeakable women, they cannot be loving parents. Hence they should not get married at all. Or something like this. It is against the natural law. Rread: what the parish priest says. The connections of Mothers & Fathers Matter to the Catholic church (itself long a haven for those with a predilection for homo- and heterosexual contact with minors, one muses) are manifold.
And the Mothers & Fathers Matter have already predicted the future with that “SURROGACY?” poster, it seems. Because in the M&FM Leaflet (PDF-File) they ramble on about it:
“Courts could (sic!) decide that the rights to marry grants same-sex couples the right to procreate. They can only procreate through the use of donated sperm or eggs and, in the case of two men married to each other, by using a surrogate mother’s womb for nine months.”
It’ll be Elton John all over again, and that in Ireland – careful now! But note how this possibility is also made a fact on the poster. Mairead will not read about the finer legal points on her way to mass (the poster actually was found opposite a church, just to mention that).
But Mothers & Fathers Matter also make the referendum the biggest threat to Western civilisation since the Islamic State arrived on the scene. Because, and this is again taken from the leaflet:
“Because we are asked to redefine marriage, on which the family is founded, your decision will have far-reaching consequences for children, education, employment law, equality legislation, freedom of speech and religious liberty.”
Down with that sort of thing! Because, you know, when the benighted poofters and lezzies are being allowed to marry, next you’ll be forbidden to say the “Hail Mary”, and if you speak up against that, transvestites and transsexuals will garotte you with your own rosary. I’m tellin’ ya!
To me, a Yes vote is a no-brainer – if Paddy wants to marry Darren, or if Sinead wants to tie the knot with Gloria, who am I to say that they cannot do so? Okay, I would not force a Catholic priest to marry them in his church, that much I’ll allow. But otherwise?
And if Paddy, Darren, Sinead, and Gloria want to procreate (an ideal situation, come to think of it) or adopt … well, good luck to them. Having seen same-sex couples giving kids a great life, and having seen predatory heterosexuals abusing their own offspring, I somehow can not see TEOTWAWKI being quite near due to a (very likely) Yes decision.
But those nutcases will find believers. And they will get people to vote “No!” Because everything (“EVERYTHING!”) is at stake. Where those faggots should be, many will think too, at the stake.
But I have to be thankful to Mothers & Fathers Matter – their poster, and the website to boot, have at least convinced me that it might be worth to go out and vote this time. Just to throw a great, big spanner into the religious works. And give the electoral middle fingers to the lunatic fringe. All by voting a simple “Yes!”