Today, Dublin footballer Ger Brennan has become one of the most high profile advocates for a No vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum. The All Ireland winner has penned a very divisive article in the Independent and it has quickly come to sum up the seemingly irreconcilable differences between the Yes and No sides.
Given the nature of the campaign to date, it's no surprise that the reaction to Brennan's article has been both swift and divided. Many have shared the opinion that Brennan's article is simply misguided about the facts of the vote and a classic example of 'I'm not homophobic but...'
Appalled by @DubGAAOfficial 's Ger Brennan re why he's voting no. How do you think it feels to be told u shouldn't have children? #MarRef
— Rob Kenny (@RobKenny_) May 13, 2015
Had never heard of Ger Brennan until today. Wish it had stayed that way. Him and his 'oh I have lots of gay friends but I'm voting no'..
— Mazzy K (@MazzyK) May 13, 2015
2 yrs ago Ger Brennan thanked the boyfriends of players on his team #hero
Today he basically kicked them in the stomach #herotozero
— Clodagh O' Sullivan (@sullyclo) May 13, 2015
Someone needs to tell #GerBrennan that having unequal family& marriage rights makes you unequal in society *surprise* pic.twitter.com/nAgcCJF3YE
— Ciara Tierney (@TierneyCiara) May 13, 2015
Many believe Brennan's faith (he holds a theology degree from NUI Maynooth) is intrinsically linked to his view and should have been addressed in the article.
However, there has been some respect for Brennan from both no and yes voters alike.
@ballsdotie Thats his his opinion and fair play to him for being honest. Mine's very different and I will #VoteYesForEquality nxt Friday.
— Liam Na mBád (@Liam_Na_mBad) May 13, 2015
Fair play to Ger Brennan & Kieran Bergin even if i dont agree with them, tough to walk against the tide and say what they believe in.
— John White (@JohnWhiteNo1) May 13, 2015
Ger Brennan is a person of deep faith & a religion teacher. His views on #MarRef are consistent with his faith. I respect that #YesEquality
— Colm O'Gorman 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 (@Colmogorman) May 13, 2015
Whilst I don't agree with Ger Brennan, I admire his courage in expressing his views. Those abusing him 4doing so examine the word 'equality'
— Aidan O'Rourke (@AidanORourke) May 13, 2015
Great to see the upcoming ref is now being contested strongly on both sides! People are no longer fearing the mob mentality.. #GerBrennan
— Liam Brogan (@BroganLiam) May 13, 2015
Ger Brennan has balls for writing that. Still think he's wrong though. #YesEquality #VoteYes
— Paraic Collins (@ParaicCollins) May 13, 2015
It must also be said that the general demographic of Twitter, from which these opinions are taken, are more likely to be of a liberal, pro-gay marriage slant. The public comments which follow Brennan's article on the Independent are equally interesting with many supporting Brennan's sentiments.
- A very considered and reasonable piece. The issue for me is about the word 'marriage' which will have its meaning changed in the referendum succeeds. Changing it denies its meaning to those already signed up to that institution.
- At last someone has the bravery to say what many think, well done & thank you.
- A brave step and I admire you for standing up for people like me in the face of intimidation.
- Thank you Ger for your honesty. I also have gay family members. Much as I love and respect them. I'm voting No.
There's no doubting that Brennan took a brave decision in expressing his opinion. Whether it will have an effect on the vote or not is debatable, but, rightly or wrongly, in putting his head above the parapet Brennan may have to deal with the fallout of this for quite a while.