Feb 24, 2015

In an article published in the Irish Times, distinguished journalist and author Bruce Arnold eloquently argues why the unique and precious nature of marriage means the Republic of Ireland should vote against redefining it.

Ahead of the referendum, expected on 22 May, Arnold uses his own life experiences, the effects on the law, and society itself to explain why same-sex marriage is wrong.

He says the difference between a ‘union’ and a ‘marriage’ is the “dilemma” at the heart of the debate in Ireland.

He explains that all life depends on procreation: “A great part of the actual meaning of my life, and the marriage that is an embodiment of what I am and have been for the greater part of this past century, is vested in this simple but unique truth”, Arnold says.

He describes his own “precious” marriage, during which two of his four children have died and his wife has developed Alzheimer’s.

“Nature, in all its revealed richness, taught us the baleful side of that unique and precious nature of marriage – that it gives the full variety of life but with all the painful inevitabilities of the shared journey through that life”, he says.

And Arnold argues that a “constant concept of blood and kinship through procreation” has defined society “at every level” in Ireland, until “this most recent assault on it”.

Arnold highlights the way marriage is “central to the concept of family”, and notes that Ireland’s constitution pledges to protect marriage “on which the Family is founded”.

He says the current “embracing of ‘same-sex marriage’” seems to have “opened a gate of choices worrying in its extent”.

He explains that various laws will need to be changed “in a new search for a thing called ‘equality’”.

He concludes that marriage, “is the abiding, unique and precious experience that we either save in this current referendum or depart from into unknown and uncharted territory from which we can never return. That is why this referendum is so important”.

The Coalition for Marriage spoke out against the rewriting of laws dating back hundreds of years when gay marriage was introduced in England and Wales. We’re supporting the fight against redefining marriage in Ireland. Our experience in the months after the law was changed here, tells us that the same effects would be seen in Ireland if this “unique and precious” institution is changed.