No campaign posters using children as a means of advancing their cause have little to say about same-sex marriage, but instead seek to “instil fear, misunderstanding, and prejudice”.
This is the view of Galway West Labour TD Derek Nolan, who has called many of the No posters “misleading and offensive” . He has also accused sections of the No campaign of being unable to “have a mature and respectful debate” on the question of gay marriage.
Last week, No posters bearing the legend ‘Children deserve a mother and father’ accompanied by a picture of a mother and father kissing a baby, as well as posters of a child headlined with the caption ‘Surrogacy?’ were erected throughout Galway city.
Dep Nolan supports both sides of the Marriage Equality debate displaying posters, calling this “a very important feature of a referendum campaign of this nature”. However he said the tone, implications, and point of view of the No posters are insulting towards a whole range of parents and family members who provide love, care, and a stable home for children across the State.
“To suggest a child can only live a happy and fulfilling life with a mother and father is not only offensive to children and parents of an LGBT background,” he said, “but is also extremely disparaging towards single parents, adoptive parents, grandparents, foster parents, and all other children who are being raised in loving relationships that some of the No campaign would refer to as ‘non-traditional homes’.”
Not only are the posters “insulting”, according to the Galway city TD, he added that they were factually incorrect and were raising matters which have no bearing on the issue of same-sex marriage.
“The recent passing of the Children and Family Relationship Act in the Dáil has dealt with the matter of adoption for all couples regardless of their sexual orientation,” he said. “Next month’s referendum has got nothing to do with this issue and in reality is about one thing and one thing only – extending constitutional protection for marriage to all couples irrespective of their sexuality.”
Dep Nolan is calling on No campaigners to “debate the referendum on its merits and not to muddy the water with red herring issues that only serve to instil fear, misunderstanding, and prejudice”.