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Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 4°C
The candidate

Joan Freeman says she disagrees with Iona Institute's policy on families

“I voted Yes for same-sex marriage: I reflect what Ireland is like. I reflect that we are diverse,” the independent Senator said.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOAN Freeman has said that she doesn’t agree with the Iona Institute’s policies on family life.

Among those policies are that each child has a “natural right to be raised by the two people – the man and the woman – who have brought the child into the world”.

When asked on’s The Candidate podcast about a statement where Freeman said “there are many aspects” of the Iona Institute’s policies that she disagrees with, the Senator elaborated on her views:

“Why don’t we all realise that there are different families? There’s a different make-up and a different composition of families nowadays. That’s what I don’t agree with, we need to embrace all family life, regardless.”

I voted Yes for same-sex marriage; so again, you’ve got to understand I reflect what Ireland is like. I reflect that we are diverse.

The independent Senator also spoke about her views on the Eighth Amendment, saying that she didn’t think the young generation would judge her for voting No.

“Let me be perfectly clear: I came from St Joseph’s school this morning. There were a few young girls that will be able to vote this year, which is terrific. 

But what I said to them is that they are such a different generation. It’s a generation that doesn’t judge. And whether I voted No, or whether I voted Yes, we have a generation here, over 18 who do not judge me.

“I have two daughters who voted Yes – very strong advocates. This is what Ireland is, it’s about diversity.”

She said it wasn’t about knowing the political stance of each candidate, as much as it was about judging them.

Whatever I voted for was my private conviction. It will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on my private duty.

Freeman has previously said that she would sign the bill that would repeal the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution, which is the final step in making or amending Irish laws.

The Candidate / SoundCloud

Listen to the sixth episode of The Candidate here.

When Freeman was asked who the biggest threat to her prospects of increasing her support base, which is at 6% according to the latest figures, she said:

“Do you know what, I’m such a positive person, I don’t think about threats, I don’t think about who’s better than me because I believe I’m the best. I believe I’m the best person, and I believe I will get the votes.”

She said that Mary Robinson was on 1% at one stage in the presidential polls, so she doesn’t pay too much attention to them.

Freeman described herself as “the average Joe person”, and said it was important for the candidate that didn’t have a party affiliation or personal wealth.

She also said that she’s in favour of a Yes vote in the referendum on Friday – to remove blasphemy from the Irish Constitution: “Church and State should be separate.”

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