Legislative And Social Policy Changes Brought About By Voting Yes In The Marriage Referendum

‘Within two weeks of the referendum result we see headlines announcing that due to just over 60% of the Irish electorate that went out to vote “The Irish state will now accept trans people’s own declaration of their gender”‘

Sligo News File Online

Letters to the Editor


During the course of the recent Marriage Referendum campaign all statements by the NO side regarding the kinds of legislative and social policy change that would follow a YES vote were met with derision and aggressive denial by all government parties and LGBT groups. Suggestions that the amendment of our family article would mean much more than the Irish public were being informed were met with accusations of scaremongering. Yet within two weeks of the referendum result we see headlines like the one proudly announcing that due to just over 60% of the Irish electorate that went out to vote “The Irish state will now accept trans people’s own declaration of their gender

Married trans people will also not be required to get a divorce, to have their gender recognised.”

The same online media article deliriously gushes:

“As the marriage equality referendum has been passed there is no Constitutional barrier to a person in a marriage or civil partnership having their preferred gender legally recognised.”

While some may find this a cause for celebration, there are those who would urge caution on the summary dismissal of gender as being not only fluid, but interchangeable, reversible and endlessly malleable throughout ones lifetime. In addition to this massive change in identity legislation which by only a slight stretch of imagination, can be perhaps manipulated to all kinds of nefarious ends, not least of which, all manner of fraud and identity theft. Also
there is the pending surrogacy legislation that we were told was another “red herring” during the course of the referendum campaign. Not only is the issue of surrogacy a hot topic, it is a hugely relevant topic with regard to the growing of families in this brave new “progressive” world that we are all told to slavishly embrace while we cast off the “repressive” shackles of that antiquated view of male and female procreation followed by actually raising their own kin. The morning after the Referendum the press featured statements by Minister Fitzgerald that surrogacy is in fact a relevant
part of the whole discussion around the 34th amendment which redefines marriage and family. Our neighbours in the UK who are a number of years ahead of us with respect to family redefinition, are experiencing social policy and family court scenarios that play out like the plot of the most bizarre sitcom. A UK paper featured such a sad tale recently where the judge commented on the confusion and complexity of the “modern family”. A little girl is at the center of a bizarre court battle between two lesbians, a gay sperm donor and a transexual lover now living with a man. We can expect more of
this kind of thing in the not too distant future here too. There is no reason whatsoever to imagine that it won’t happen here. This is not the result of “enlightened” and “progressive” social policy and family law. It is the result of legislators losing their grip on reality. We should be able to look kindly on our fellow human beings and embrace diversity without completely losing touch with the importance of family and natural ties. How can the best interests of children be served when the law continues to be more and more adult centered? Family structure is not endlessly malleable. Consistent remodeling with no attention to the foundations can only lead to collapse. We were ridiculed for urging caution with regard to amending the Family Article of our constitution. “The sky wont fall” they said. Well I don’t believe that anyone said that there would be immediate skyfall. Give it a little time though and there is no doubt that like the UK, Canada and across the US many fissures will appear. Then, and only then will the questions begin, “how did we allow this to happen to us?”

Kate Bopp,
Co. Galway.