Only A Game? - It should be equality for all, not just for some

Dublin footballer, Ger Brennan with the Sam Maguire trophy after winning the All-Ireland Championship in 2013.
Dublin footballer, Ger Brennan with the Sam Maguire trophy after winning the All-Ireland Championship in 2013.

Ger Brennan is not just a talented Dublin footballer but he’s adept and articulate.

Earlier this week, All-Ireland winner Brennan, took to the pages of ‘The Irish Independent’ to explain why he will be voting NO in the Marriage Referendum on May 22.

The referendum will decide whether or not to change the Irish Constitution. If the overall vote is NO, the Constitution stays the same but if the vote is YES, the following line will be added to Article 40 of the Constitution.

“Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

If I was able to vote in the referendum I would be voting YES but despite this I found much of what Brennan had to say in his piece in ‘The Irish Independent’ to be points well made.

I agree with Brennan that voting NO does not automatically make someone a homophobe - it’s a matter of opinion after all.

However, where I felt Brennan’s argument came crashing down around him was when he tried to suggest that the most wholesome parenting a child can receive is from their biological parents.

“I believe we’d be doing [children] a disadvantage and a disservice if their parents are not their biological parents. Blood is thicker than water,” said Brennan in the article.

“They [homosexual couples] are equal in their love but biologically disadvantaged,” he added.

Whilst I respect what Brennan has to say I think he is a complete idealist.

Voting NO is Irish Catholic conditioning masquerading as altruism when in actual fact it is anything but

Sunday Journal sport columnist - Andrew Quinn

To suggest that parenting and family life are as straightforward as he has is utterly ridiculous. Family life, growing up, looking after and caring for children is anything but simple.

Many of my closest friends and family members don’t hail from this ideal upbringing that Brennan advocates but does that make them any less human, valuable or deserving of love? Absolutely not.

Brennan says he is voting NO because he believes the relationship between a child and its biological parents to be paramount but perhaps he should think about all of the children in Ireland who will discover in the future that they are gay.

Whether Brennan likes it or not, by voting NO on May 22, he is saying to these children that they are less important, less human and not deserving of the same choices as heterosexuals in Ireland.

Just because a man and a woman decide to have a child does not mean that they would be better parents than say two women or two men. Being a good parent is not about your sexuality or your sex it’s about how much love and care you can offer to a child.

I’ve met men and women in my life who I know to be adopted. They tell me they have no interest in meeting their biological parents because as far as they are concerned their parents are the ones who brought them up.

There’s much more to being a parent than sharing DNA, eye colour and facial features.

Brennan’s article and the message at the core, whilst articulate, respectful and insightful is a smokescreen.

To use the topic of children as a reason as to why you are voting NO is Catholic conditioning masquerading as altruism when it is anything but, is utterly insincere.

I hope the people of Ireland are brave on May 22 and take the brave step towards creating a future based on equality for all and not just some.