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Miss last night's Prime Time debate? Here's what people are talking about

“Equal does not mean the same.”


ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER same-sex marriage referendum debate.

Last night, it was Prime Time’s turn to get the Yes and No camps into the studio and let them tear into one another.

It started as a somewhat civilised back-and-forth, with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Yes Equality’s Noel Whelan and Grainne Healy on the Yes side and David Quinn, John Waters and Eileen King of Mothers and Fathers Matter on the No side.

For the speakers supporting the Yes vote, the focus was on stressing that this referendum is about equality.

Fitzgerald said it is a “great opportunity for the government to say to citizens: “Each and every one of you is equal”". Journalist John Waters later hit back at the use of the word “equality”, telling his three opponents that “equal does not mean the same”.


Rather than the change in the constitution being an affront to traditional marriages, the Minister said it is “a compliment to marriage” that same-sex couples want to be married.


Noel Whelan said he believes people want to continue to discriminate against gay people in Ireland by “locking them out” of marriage.

The three speakers in favour of a No vote all discussed the potential impact the decision in this referendum will have on children and their rights.


Eileen King said it is not the intention of No campaigners to infer different dynamics that currently exist in families make any children in them less worthy, rather it is preferable for a child to be with their biological mother and father.

“What’s more important is having identity,” she said.

David Quinn of the Iona Institute also said, in the future, there may be a situation where people who are in favour of the “traditional family” are themselves discriminated against, citing examples of businesses who have refused services promoting same-sex marriage in the last year.

Needless to say, there was a lot of reaction to the debate:

Tweet by @Michael Kelly Michael Kelly / Twitter Michael Kelly / Twitter / Twitter

What did you make of it? 

Read: Joan Burton says the No posters about surrogacy are ‘sad and demeaning’>
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John Waters: Same-sex marriage is not a free gift to give to the gay community>

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