Mary McAleese, the former President of Ireland and a vocal supporter of LGBT rights, has opened up a new can of worms by announcing her support for the marriage equality referendum which is due to take place next month
Mary McAleese, the former President of Ireland and a vocal supporter of LGBT rights, has opened up a new can of worms by announcing her support for the marriage equality referendum which is due to take place next month.
Speaking on national radio broadcaster Newstalk, McAleese (above) said:
“I’m hoping very much…that it will be passed. We believe it to be a human rights issue.
“We’ve been watching with great interest the debate as it’s been evolving in Ireland and the concerns that people have in and around it. We’ve been thinking about it for a very long time, a very, very long time, and contemplating it for a long time.
“People have been saying it’s about children – it’s about Ireland’s gay children and about their future and about the kind of future we want for Ireland. We want, in the words of the proclamation: ‘The children of a nation to be cherished equally’.
“The adult children, the children yet unborn, the gay children yet unborn – we want them to be born into a world where if they fall in love with someone they can express that love fully.”
Iona Institute mouthpiece, Irish Times columnist and teacher Breda O’Brien (right) appeared on Newstalk’s Breakfast on Tuesday to take umbrage with McAleese’s comments.
O’Brien – officially and legally not homophobic – said that same-sex marriage is not a human rights issue and called for McAleese to clarify her comments:
”Mary McAleese has departed from the precedence set by [former Presidents] Mary Robinson and…President Hillery by intervening directly in matters of Irish policy.
“I presume she has a very good reason for doing but I would like to call on her to clarify exactly what she meant in the implication that people who vote no are part of the architecture of homophobia."
However, after being challenged by presenter Chris O’Donoghue, O’Brien said:
“I accept that she did not say directly that people who vote no are part of the architecture of homophobia, I would like her to remove any implication that that is the case.”
On @NewstalkFM, Breda O'Brien invented quote for MMcAleese, misrepped her position,apologised,then asked MMA to clarify having not said it.
— John Boyne (@john_boyne) April 14, 2015
— Peter (@pmbarrins) April 14, 2015
O’Brien found some Twitter support in the form of fellow non-homophobe, Iona Institute member and self-appointed moral arbiter for Ireland David Quinn.
Horrible stuff on twitter today about Breda O'Brien. #MarRef
— David Quinn (@DavQuinn) April 14, 2015
Last weekend, non-homophobe O’Brien weighed in on the Memories Pizza controversy in Indiana, claiming “there is no equality in this controversy, just little people desperately scrabbling to defend themselves against a machine that paints them as homophobic, bigoted and functionally equivalent to racists.”
In 2012, McAleese said gay people are “as entitled to live their lives on their own terms, as I do as a heterosexual.”