THE Referendum Commission stated clearly that that the Marriage Equality Referendum is solely about who can marry, said Director of Elections for the Fine Gael Yes campaign, Minister Simon Coveney, TD,
Reacting following the launch of the No campaign, he said that it is incumbent on all sides in the referendum debate to stick to the facts and not to mislead people with emotive arguments about children. The minister claimed that a clear effort was made to create a false link between the Marriage Equality Referendum and the issue of children and parenting.
Mr Coveney emphasised: ‘This Referendum is solely about extending the right to marry to same-sex couples. Nothing more. Issues around parenting and guardianship and the fundamental need to always protect children is dealt with in the Children and Family Relationships Bill along with other legislation.
‘These protections are not changed at all by this referendum. To speak about children in this context by the No campaign is entirely inappropriate.
‘It is disappointing that the No campaign is clearly trying to create a false link between the referendum and children. Introducing false arguments, which have nothing to do with this referendum, will only do a disservice to the public which relies on all of us to present accurate and reliable information in relation to this debate.
‘Let me be clear. The outcome of the referendum will not change anything with regard to the fostering or adopting of a child by heterosexual or same-sex couples.’ He pointed out: ‘The fact of the matter is that single people and same-sex couples can already adopt or foster children. The referendum will not change this situation one iota.
‘It is incumbent on all sides in this debate to stick to the facts to avoid using misleading emotive arguments, particularly around the issue of children. All of us in this debate have an obligation to the public to put forward honest and truthful arguments.’