This coming Friday, Ireland will be voting in a referendum to legalise same-sex marriage. I’d like to think that sanity will prevail, and that the vote will be “Yes”, but I shouldn’t underestimate the continuing power of the Catholic Church, aided by US Christian groups, evangelical Christians and religious societies such as the Iona Institute to poison the well.
Take, for example, Breda O’Brien’s opinion piece in the Irish Times: Think about intolerance of thought police before you vote. I confess, my irony meter all but exploded on reading that headline. O’Brien is a patron of the Iona Institute, thus she can quite blithely state:
Think about the dogmatism and intolerance of the new thought police, the contempt for the conscientious objections of others, as you decide which way to vote.
I would hope rather that the Irish voters will dwell more upon the dogmatism and the intolerance of the old thought police as they decide which way to vote. O’Brien’s piece fulminates:
Nothing wrong with that, until you realise from the INTO LGBT group that they intend to normalise same-sex marriage in the teaching of children as young as four, using poster displays in classrooms and picture books.
They suggest using King and King, described by Amazon as presenting “same-sex marriage as a viable, acceptable way of life within an immediately recognizable narrative form, the fairy tale”. The prince is only happy when he meets and marries another prince.
Ah, yes, King and King – otherwise known as Koning & Koning in the original Dutch, published back in 2000. A charming little book for children – I have a copy in my library – whose message is nothing more than not everyone is the same, and love comes in different forms. Also in my library is a copy of Jenny lives with Eric and Martin, published way back in 1983, and which caused a similar furore in the UK at the time. The message here is that not all families are the same.
These seem to be messages that worry and concern Ms. O’Brien. I fail to see why. Her implicit cry is “won’t somebody please think of the children!”. We do, Ms. O’Brien. we do. Your way of thinking is to continue to lock children up, and make some of them continue to feel wrong. Your way of thinking leads to a lifetime of suffering. Ask Ursula Halligan.