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Dublin Footballer Outlines Why He Is Voting No In The Marriage Referendum

Dublin Footballer Outlines Why He Is Voting No In The Marriage Referendum
By Gary Reilly
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It's fair to say the impending marriage equality referendum is dominating talk up and down the country. And so it should, if Ireland were to become the first country to introduce gay marriage following a popular vote it would be a landmark decision the world over. So there's a lot at stake.

Both sides of the argument have been campaigning in various forms and an important part of that has been the high profile endorsements. The GAA community has played a large part in that, particularly on the Yes side. The GPA have come out in favour of a yes vote and a number of prominent players are actively campaigning.

Tipperary hurler Kieran Bergin has already gone against the tide by publicly stating his support for a no vote and now Dublin footballer Ger Brennan has also outlined his reasons for voting against the referendum.


Writing in the Independent, Brennan begins by outlining his support for the gay community Ireland and expresses his relief that Ireland has become increasingly accepting of gay people. However, Brennan explains that he feels the referendum is not a matter of equality.

This isn't a referendum on whether we like gay people or whether they should be equal citizens according to the Constitution. They already are equal citizens. Article 40.1, which deals with equality, declares that all citizens shall be held equal before the law.

Brennan's argument surrounds the status of children within a family.

The reason why the Constitution recognises marriage in the first place is because of its role in connecting children with their biological parents. That's why the Constitution describes the family based on marriage as "the natural primary fundamental unit group of society". Children's interests should come before all else. So if we redefine marriage and the family we are obviously going to affect children.

The All Ireland winner goes on to accept that he will inevitably be labelled for publicly coming out in favour of a no vote.

I'm sick of the accusations being flung around that if you vote 'No' you are homophobic. I know I'm not homophobic; my gay friends and family can attest to that. I am voting "No" because I don't want our Constitution to deny that it is a good thing for a child to have a mother and a father.

Given the undoubtedly strong feelings that have been shared throughout this campaign, it will certainly be interesting to see what the reaction to this is.



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