TUESDAY, 26 MAY 2015

A polyphobic reflection

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mary/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Improbable? Preposterous? Alarmist? Perhaps. But by no means illogical.

The success of the same-sex marriage campaign in Ireland has advocates elsewhere in a state of high excitement, predicting that the rest of the (Western) world must quickly fall into line and legalise this concept. What then?

As we know, there is a long line of “love” interest groups waiting to stake their claims for social recognition, and at the head of the queue are polyamorists.

In fact, just before the Irish voted, The Independent (Ireland) ran a long feature story about the Emerald Isle’s polyamory community. Jade-Martina Lynch, who has achieved a modest amount of fame by starring in Irish Big Brother, summed up the polyamory philosophy quite neatly: "My soul is just so free I can't be in a monogamous relationship."

It’s hard to pin… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 25 MAY 2015

What lies ahead for marriage in Ireland?

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William Murphy / flickr

For supporters of natural marriage, the results of Ireland’s referendum last Friday are obviously a great disappointment. A resounding majority throughout the country supported the addition of 17 momentous words to the Irish constitution: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

The result was not as overwhelming as the victors claim. On a 60 percent voter turnout, 62 percent voted Yes. That’s only 36 percent of eligible voters. And contrary to what some pundits have said, it was a respectable turnout but hardly a record. In 1972 there was a 72 percent turnout for a referendum on joining the European Communities (the predecessor of the European Union); in 1992, there was a 68 percent turnout on abortion; and in 2009 there was a 59 percent turnout for… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 25 MAY 2015

Ireland abandons its children

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Ireland has written a social suicide note and we grieve for her. But we will not follow her.

More than half the Irish have voted for homosexual marriage, seduced by celebrities to violate something they once held sacred: the life between mother, father and child.

From today, the Irish Constitution assumes a mother does not matter to a baby, and a father is irrelevant to his son. That is madness.

A constitutional right to same-sex marriage means a constitutional right to same-sex adoption and surrogacy, and that means motherless and fatherless families are now enshrined as an ideal in the Irish Constitution.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the vote was “Yes to love” -- but there are children who will never know the love of their mother because of  Friday’s  constitutional amendment. He said it was “Yes to inclusion” -- but it deliberately excludes children of same-sex couples from… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 22 MAY 2015

Same-sex parenting studies: the re-analysis scoreboard

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Telegraph/Getty Images


A study going the rounds of the newsrooms this week is said to debunk, discredit and otherwise disprove the findings of the New Family Structures Study carried out by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus on the effects of same-sex parenting.

Authors Brian Powell and Andrew Cheng, sociology professors from Indiana University and the University of Connecticut, have reanalysed the NFSS data and reclassified the respondents who said they had lived with a lesbian mother or gay father for less than a year, as not "raised" by a same-sex parent (Regnerus seems to have used the term "raised" to summarise a range of exposure to same-sex parents) and even questioned the inclusion of those who spent less than four years in such a household. They then sorted the 236 subjects by the stability of their parents’ relationships and added a… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 22 MAY 2015

Gay study a “mountain of fabrication”

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Respectful conversation and smiles steal homophobes’ hearts away. That was the message of a much-ballyhooed article in America’s leading science journal, Science, last December.

Michael J. LaCour, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Donald Green, a political scientist at Columbia University reported that hostile attitudes towards gay marriage could be changed by a single face-to-face conversation with a gay person. “These large, persistent, and contagious effects were confirmed by a follow-up experiment,” the authors wrote.

Betsy Levy Paluck, professor of psychology and public policy at Princeton, tweeted that it was “the paper with the most astounding results & rigorous methods this year” – an opinion which cropped up again and again in the US media. The study confirmed that it was possible to diminish prejudice with personal contact. In other words, “coming out” works.

These results ought to have been welcomed, because they… click here to read whole article and make comments


TUESDAY, 19 MAY 2015

The fairest referendum money can buy

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As Friday’s referendum on same-sex marriage in Ireland approaches, attention has turned to the funding behind the Yes campaign.

A petition has been launched which says that “this push for same-sex marriage in Ireland has not at all been a ‘home-grown’ phenomenon, but, rather, a carefully-orchestrated and massively well-funded assault on the natural family, coming from private American funding”.

In most countries funding local politics with overseas money would be as popular with voters as barbecuing puppydogs at a school fair. But not, apparently, in Ireland.

A charity founded by Irish-American businessman Chuck FeeneyAtlantic Philanthropies, cheerfully acknowledges that it has poured about US$28 million over the past 13 years into strategic LGBT campaigns in Ireland.

A columnist for the Irish Times, Breda O’Brien, was seething with rage this week at the thought of American dollars buying… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 18 MAY 2015

Two gay campaigners against same-sex marriage in Ireland

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Here are the testimonies of two men which every voter should see before going out to the polling station in Ireland next Friday. Keith Mills is gay, agnostic and a dedicated blogger on Eurovision. Paddy Manning is gay, Catholic and a celebrity blogger and political pundit.

Keith Mills believes that it’s important for him, as a gay man, to speak out about his belief that children deserve a mother and a father whenever the circumstances of life allow, since too many people are being bullied into silence. He explains that the referendum is not about equality because already, through civil partnerships, we have a means of giving gay couples legal protection and recognition – in a ceremony that is almost identical to civil marriage, right down to saying the words “I do”.
Furthermore, Paddy Manning points out that a gay or lesbian relationship is simply a different thing to a marriage. “Marriage is,… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 15 MAY 2015

Ireland: Will the Noes have it?

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The question being asked in Ireland today is not whether the Government will win its ill-considered referendum asking its people to redefine marriage as a bond between people regardless of their sex, but whether it can long outlive the defeat of this proposal.

The Irish people are a warm-hearted lot but they are not irrational. Among the countries of Europe most tried by the debacle of the financial melt-down in the last decade, they were the ones who resisted the emotional response and knuckled down to sort it out. All observers now give them credit for this. The only rage which they gave vent to was in the face of another piece of gross mismanagement by their Government when it muddled its way through the realignment of the country’s water utility.

Despite what very suspect opinion polls – conducted through cell-phone users in many cases –… click here to read whole article and make comments


TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2015

If ‘gay is good’, is opposing it bad?

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Many people with a religious outlook on life feel threatened by the advance of same-sex marriage. The Coalition for Marriage, a British lobby group, has just published a pamphlet listing 30 instances in which persons of faith were penalized for opposing same-sex marriage. Its claim is that:

“Redefining marriage is sold as a permissive measure, but it will quickly become coercive. In fact, it already has. Too many people have already been punished for expressing their sincere beliefs about marriage. Wherever marriage is redefined, people are punished for their beliefs.”

It’s important to place this in perspective. The jails of England or of Massachusetts are not overflowing with dissidents from a same-sex marriage ideology. But the list is still worrying. The cases range from hate mail to being fired to being forced out of business.

Supporters of same-sex marriage pooh-pooh these as tempests in a… click here to read whole article and make comments


TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2015

Same-sex marriage and the ethics of harm

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What else will change if same-sex marriage is legalized? This is the question which voters in the United States and Ireland should be asking themselves. In the US the Supreme Court is studying whether to declare that access to marriage is a constitutional right for same-sex couples and in Ireland a referendum on amending the constitution will be held on May 22.

The easy answer is, Not a bit. How could marriages between two gays or two lesbians possibly harm the marriages of straight couples? This glib response has been powerfully persuasive, even for many people who support traditional marriage. Why should some people be denied the joys of life-long intimacy and companionship, however unconventional, if it will harm no one?

But smuggled into this argument is an explosive assumption: that “harm” is the standard of morality. This will certainly become a bedrock principle of future marriage… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Conjugality deals with the true nature of marriage and the challenges it faces today. Our current focus is on the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. We'd love to get your comments and suggestions. Send an email to conjugality@mercatornet.com

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