Remember the diversity of families this Father's Day

17 Jun 2011



Families in Ireland have grown more diverse in recent years, and for some Irish families with two dads, this means that Father's Day this Sunday will be a double celebration. Across Ireland, loving families come in many forms, including families with gay dads and two-father families. Four decades of researchers around the world have studied how different family relationships affect children. Unsurprisingly what they have found is that what is best for children is the quality of a family's relationship, rather than the particular structure of families or sexuality of the parents involved.

Moninne Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality, said "For a lot of people growing up gay or lesbian did not end their dreams of growing up, falling in love, getting married and having a family - it's a common dream. We know that there are gay and lesbian Dads and Mums raising children in loving families all over Ireland. From our work with young adult children with lesbian and gay parents, we have heard, from the children themselves, that sexual orientation does not have much to do with one's ability to be a good parent. Children deserve to be raised by loving parents regardless of sexuality or gender. All the reputable social and academic scientific authorities have long since held that children being raised in Lesbian and Gay families do just as well as other kids. What is important is that children have a loving and stable protected environment."

"Study after study has shown that children of lesbian or gay parents are as well-adjusted as those of non-gay parents. All children deserve the right to emergency care, access to their parents and inheritance. All families benefit from the intangible reassurance that comes from knowing that your family is recognised as a family and is safe and protected. All parents want the same for their children, to be happy and feel loved and secure."

With recent high-profile Civil Partnerships like RTE's Michael Murphy and his partner Terry O'Sullivan, and with the newly-published Finance (No.3) Bill being discussed in the Dáil, Marriage Equality recently promised to intensify its campaign for equality over the coming months.

Citing the lack of parenting rights afforded to same sex couples under the current Civil Partnership legislation, Ms Griffith said "The Irish Government must establish legal recognition of lesbian and gay headed families, through appropriate amendments to adoption and guardianship laws, and the introduction of civil marriage rights for same sex couples."


For more information, contact:

Moninne Griffith
Director, Marriage Equality
01 873 4183

Notes to the Editor:

Marriage Equality's research on the lived experiences of children of same sex couples, entitled Voices of Children, can be found here:

Further research and expert opinions can be found by reading the report of Marriage Equality's Voices of Children conference here: