DUBLIN, May 9, 2011– Two Irish pro-family organizations have issued a call for the government to do more to protect the institution of marriage from promoters of same-sex “marriage” and civil unions.
In their new report, The National Men’s Council of Ireland (NMCI) and the Family Rights and Responsibilities Institute of Ireland have taken the government to task for attempting to equate natural marriage with so-called gay “marriage” and civil unions, even though the Irish constitution specifically demands that marriage and the family be protected.
NMCI’s Roger Eldridge told LifeSiteNews.com that they are not happy with the current emphasis of the government’s Equality Authority, which is presenting natural marriage and same-sex civil unions as in every way the same.
“A family founded on marriage has a very different social function to a civil union and so the rights and duties of members of each can not be equated in law,” he said.
The constitution of Ireland, he said, allows discrimination between individuals and groups “where people have differences of capacity, physical and moral, and of social function.” The trend of equating natural marriage and same-sex civil unions, he said, is like equating “chalk and cheese.”
In July of last year, despite the provisions in the constitution directly protecting natural marriage, the Irish parliament passed a law allowing same-sex civil partnerships that have many of the same legal privileges as marriage. The law also makes it a criminal offense for marriage registrars to refuse to conduct same-sex civil ceremonies, providing for a possible six month prison term and up to €2000 in fines for violators.
Since the passage of the law, homosexualist activists within and outside the government have kept up pressure to institute same-sex “marriage.”
The only way to have real equality, Eldridge said, is for the Equality Authority and all branches of government to uphold the absolute rule of law. Equality cannot be achieved, he said, “by forcing people to treat chalk as if it were cheese” - “in other words, by promoting, as they do, that same-sex people should be allowed to marry [each other] and have ‘equality’ with the family founded on marriage when they have entirely different capacities and social functions.”
In their report, titled, “The Family Founded on Marriage and its Rights in the Context of the Rule of Law,” the groups say that the defence of marriage and the family built on marriage is needed to “genuinely protect children and their rights.”
The groups issued their report in response to a request for input by the Equality Authority for a public consultation as the agency prepares its new Strategic Plan for Ireland for the period 2012 to 2014.
The report said that the Irish constitution “forces the state and all its agents, including the Equality Authority, in its policies and legislation to acknowledge and endorse the family founded on marriage.”
The document quotes Article 41.1 of the constitution that says natural marriage is “the natural primary and fundamental unit group of society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.”
Article 41.2 says, “The state, therefore, guarantees to protect the family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the nation and the state.”
Article 41.3 concludes, “The state pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of marriage, on which the family is founded, and to protect it against attack.”
Citing the recent wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in England, the groups pointed to the meaning of the vows of the Anglican wedding service, saying that it is only natural marriage, not cohabitation or same-sex partnerings, that is inherently ordered to the rearing of children and consequently to the stability of society.
The family “founded on marriage,” the report said, “has duties that require them to have rights to fulfill those duties.”
“There are absolutely no corresponding duties for participants in the form of association known as a civil union, in particular the duty to procreate and to be faithful. Therefore it is a misuse of taxpayers’ money for any government body to push for such ‘equality’ of rights.”
“The concept of a ‘same-sex marriage’ is clearly an oxymoron and that it would be irrational and ridiculous for anyone to promote that it should ever be accepted in law,” Eldridge said.