SIR – I want to strongly reject the despicable, scandalous and bogus claims made by Theresa Heaney in this paper last week (Letters, May 16th).
Her remarks regarding the marriage referendum were profoundly insulting, crude and preposterous.
The marriage referendum simply asks whether any two people, regardless of their gender, can marry in a civil ceremony. The issues of surrogacy and adoption have nothing at all to do with the referendum.
The chair of the Adoption Authority has made clear, the result of the referendum will not affect the adoption process. Since 1991, a person who is in a same-sex or opposite-sex cohabiting relationship can apply to adopt, and many children are already being raised by same-sex couples.
Voting yes or no will have no impact on the rules that apply to adoption. I think it is also important to point out that the yes vote is supported by the ISPCC, Barnados and numerous other children’s charities.
By voting yes, the rights of children will be further strengthened and affirmed. If passed, the referendum would affirm that the small number of children currently being brought up by same-sex couples could become part of a constitutionally-protected family, valued by Irish society on an equal basis with other families.
It would also reassure children who are themselves gay or lesbian that they are equal in law with their heterosexual siblings and friends. Then this nation really would cherish all its children equally – as promised in the 1916 Proclamation.
Remember that those impacted by this referendum are real people whose real lives cannot be dismissed by fear, lies and false slogans. They are our brothers, our sisters, daughters and sons, our family and our friends.
They deserve to be happy and they deserve to be treated and recognised as equal.
Michael McCarthy, TD,