Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Constitutional Convention consultation on 'same sex marriage'

The Journal on Friday last March 1st reported that the chairman of the Constitution Convention, Tom Arnold, had urged the public to submit any suggestions, proposals or comments they have regarding same sex marriage.

The call for submissions comes ahead of the convention’s examination of the issue at its next meeting on 13 April. Arnold said one of the central principles of the convention is that it is a citizens’ forum.
“I am calling for people to engage with the convention by making their views known on what is a very important subject for many in Irish society today,” he said.
“We are keen that the convention’s deliberations and subsequent decisions are properly informed. Therefore, we want to hear from all sides of the debate regarding the proposal to make a constitutional provision for same sex marriage.”
He said the convention was encouraging organisations, citizens and the disapora to make their voices heard.

Submissions, proposals and comments must be received by 19 March, 2013 and can be made on the convention’s website.

We would encourage all our Irish readers to make submissions on this issue because the experience of legalising marriage for same-sex couples in Europe and North America shows that such legalisation has negative effects for real marriage and for families and it is vital to be able to access the latest evidence for the purpose of the consultation.

The evidence for this was recently presented to the House of Commons committee examining the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, in a written submission by Dr Patricia Morgan, the British family policy researcher, on behalf of SPUC. The submission can be read in full on this link

Based on research and data from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and the US, Dr Morgan concluded that:
            as marriage is redefined to accommodate same-sex couples, this reinforces the idea that marriage is irrelevant to parenthood
            same-sex marriage leads to the casualisation of heterosexual unions and separation of marriage and parenthood
            Spain saw a pronounced acceleration in the decline of marriage following the introduction of same-sex marriage (same-sex marriage was introduced at the same time as the ‘express divorce bill’)
            across all countries analysed, no causal link has been established to support the idea that same-sex marriage prevents marital decline
            in the move to same-sex marriage, opposite-sex relationships have to conform to gay norms rather than vice-versa
            a publicly-professed, legal, partnership does not prevent homosexual couples from breaking up more frequently than married heterosexual couples
            experience with same-sex partnerships/marriage legislation tends to suggest that availability is all, and participation more or less irrelevant to sexual minorities
            same-sex marriage may be the end-game of long-running anti-marriage, anti-family policy typified by Sweden
            same-sex marriage may begin the process of severing marriage from family in otherwise family-friendly societies such as Spain and the Netherlands
same-sex marriage triggers dismemberment of family structures in family-friendly societies.