IRELAND: Homocon Argues Against Marriage Equality In Televised Debate
Passions were running high in the RTÉ studios last night – as campaigners from either side of the same-sex marriage argument took part in a Late Late Show debate. For the Yes side, Amnesty Ireland director Colm O’Gorman and Irish Times columnist Una Mullally were the main speakers. Keith Mills of Mothers and Fathers Matter and Petra Conroy of Catholic Comment took to the podium for the No campaign. The tone was serious, but remained civil throughout. There were regular cheers of encouragement and rounds of applause (of varying degrees of intensity) as speakers from either side made their points.You can watch the debate in full here. Start at the 41:00 minute mark. JMG reader Brian writes from Ireland: "It starts with individual interviews followed by a debate. The no side spoke passionately. And the yes side utterly trounced them. It takes time but it's utterly amazing television. By the end of it, the no side are attacking children's charities."
A strong exchange between Mullally and Paddy Manning, a gay man campaigning for a No vote, was also remarked upon online. Speaking from the audience, Manning said that when he was growing up, being gay in Ireland was a “terrifying experience”. However, he then hit out at the array of charities – including Barnordos, and the the ISPCC – campaigning in support of the constitutional change.
“I don’t care what those charities say, I don’t care how they are being misled, I don’t care how they’re cosying up to the consensus politicians for money,” he said. "I know what it’s like to love, I know what it’s like to lose – and I know the heartbreak. But I also know that the best place for children is with a mother and a father." Mullally’s response was met with a further round of applause from the audience: "I do think it says a lot that someone would sit there and say ‘I don’t care what children’s charities say’.
RELATED: JMG reader Helen writes from Ireland to note that contrary to yesterday's money beg by Brian Brown, foreigners are not permitted to contribute to Irish referendum campaigns. Ex-pat Irish citizens may contribute up to €2500 from wherever they are. Contribute to Yes Equality here.