Marriage Equality Responds to Cardinal Sean Brady

27 Aug 2012

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Today Marriage Equality have responded to comments made by Cardinal Sean Brady at the Edmund Rice Summer School in Waterford last week, in which he stated that marriage between a man and a woman is the most favoured situation in which children are reared. On RTE Radio on Sunday, the Cardinal further stated that marriage equality would weaken marriage vows made by heterosexual married couples.

"The movement for marriage equality is about access to civil marriage - that is, marriage in a registry office rather than in a church," said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith. "Marriage equality is about protecting and supporting families irrespective of gender or sexuality. Children with lesbian and gay parents deserve the same protections and the same opportunities as any other children. They already exist and ignoring the precarious legal situation they and their families are in because their parents cannot get married isn't right or fair. Inequality has no place in modern Ireland. "

Marriage Equality's ground-breaking 2010 report "Voices of Children" looked at the lived experiences of children of same sex couples. The report highlighted how the lack of legal recognition of a child's relationship with his or her non-biological parent significantly affected their lives - in areas such as schooling, health and parental consent. What mattered most to the children involved in the study was that their family relationships be recognised and protected, and that no other generation of children with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents be discriminated against.

"Removing the civil marriage ban for same sex couples harms no one," added Ms Griffith. "What it means is that same sex couples and their children will be protected, treated equally and cherished equally by the State. 73% of people in Ireland support marriage equality - that's nearly three quarters of people who believe in family, kinship, love, commitment and respect. We look forward to engaging with the upcoming Constitutional Convention, which will be looking at the issue in great detail. The Irish people, including TDs, government ministers and local authorities, have all agreed - the time for marriage equality is now."