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Senator warns against encouraging gay people to believe "sameness" achievable

Encouraging LGBT people to believe full equivalence is possible will “only cause more harm than good to them” he said.

Updated at 10.22pm

A FIANNA FÁIL Senator said in a speech today that he believed encouraging gay people to believe “sameness” could be achieved would only cause them “more harm than good”.

Jim Walsh, who is known for his conservative views, was speaking on the Marriage Equality Bill this afternoon in the upper house.

Opposing the proposed change to the Constitution to allow same-sex couples to get married, he said he believed the move would change “the definition and conception of family”.

As marriage currently protects the natural ties between mothers, fathers and their children, he said “changing marriage removes that protection”.

sen Jim Walsh Source: Oireachtas.ie

Later in his speech, he observed:

“I’m conscious of the fact that gay people have suffered [the] stigma and challenges of living in a society that is largely hetero-normative.

“However my concern is that gay people in same sex couples are being encouraged to believe that complete sameness is achievable.

“There’s a fundamental biological difference between same sex and opposite sex couples.

That difference will remain – encouraging gay people and same sex couples to believe that full equivalence and sameness are achievable would only cause more harm than good to them and I would worry about that because of the obvious natural differences which will endure regardless of redefining marriage.

At Fianna Fáil’s 2012 Ard Fheis, the party’s members voted to pass a resolution supporting equal marriage.

“The Party position is that we support that most basic Republican proposition – the entitlement to equality on the part of every Irish citizen,” Justice spokesman Niall Collins said in a speech earlier this month.


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dave2 Source: Oireachtas.ie

Earlier in the session, Senator David Norris had been in typically ebullient form – railing against opponents of gay marriage who felt their own union would be somehow diluted if the proposal was passed.

“Oh Ireney, I feel so much less married to you this morning”, he said – role-playing the part of an affronted Marriage Equality opponent.

If they do – to Hell with them!

“If their marriage is that weak – I have no sympathy whatever with them.”

dave Source: Oireachtas.ie

Finishing his contribution he said that in Scandinavia (he didn’t specify a country) there was an increase in heterosexual marriage after same sex unions were legalised.

“I very much doubt if I’ll get married,” the veteran LGBT-rights campaigner said.

“But if there is anybody out there with qualifications in nursing and cookery and a large farm in Tipperary. Here I am!”

My number is on the Oireachtas website.

Read: Here are the 15 senators who opposed the abortion legislation

Read: Fianna Fáil senator: ‘I oppose this legislation because it is anti-women’

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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