Irish Independent Continues Anti-Gay Crusade

The below is an opinion piece that appeared in the Irish Independent today. In the past few minutes it disappeared from the website so wanted to copy it over in case it has disappeared entirely.

My comments on it appear below.

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Every single human decision has a consequence — so remember that the next time you vote for someone’s rights

Wednesday March 14 2012

Consequence; perhaps the least considered word in the entire Irish political lexicon. Repeatedly, governments have embarked on policies with little consideration of consequence. This recklessness is almost built into the DNA of the State from 1916 onwards: politicians did what made them feel good, or which satisfied a personal ambition, regardless of the actual outcome. And consequence was then seen as some wholly unfair act of either an evil history or of the British, which in nationalist thinking, came down pretty much to the same thing.

So how much thought went into the recent Fianna Fail vote to give full marriage rights to same-sex couples? A second’s worth, maybe? But we were recently told very clearly by the Supreme Court that judges do not like imposing their own views on parliamentary laws relating to sexual morality. So, just as in the contemptible and disgusting law by which a 15-year-old boy can be imprisoned for being seduced by a sexually experienced 16-year-old girl, but she may not, and which the Supreme Court ruled was constitutional, our law-makers cannot now expect to be rescued from their own bad decisions by some clever judges. The Supreme Court will not impose its own wisdom on any law that establishes legal parity between homosexual and heterosexual marriages.

Therefore, equality in law having been achieved, what happens when a lesbian couple and a heterosexual couple are competing to adopt the same baby boy? Without a legal protection for the rights of the child, the claim of each is equally valid, though the record of every society shows that boys without a strong stable male figure in their lives are an express train heading for trouble. Indeed, one prison survey in the US showed that 90pc of jail-inmates were the product of fatherless homes. But with marital parity achieved, an adoption agency would be breaking the law if it ruled in favour of the heterosexual couple. We have seen the workings of this sort of law in Britain, where it is illegal for Catholic adoption agencies to seek heterosexual homes for their children. The consequence — ah, that word again — is that Catholic adoption agencies have closed, rather than do something they feel is immoral, which is to hand children over to homosexual couples. It is not even lawful for the birth mother to stipulate that she wants her child to be raised by a heterosexual married couple.

What about a law which gives an agency discretionary powers? Actually, discretionary law is usually no law: the adoption agency that is given the semi-judicial power to prefer one couple over another will sooner or later be challenged in the courts, and then the only people who will be happy will be our old friends the lawyers, as the baby is left in a maze of domestic, familial and legal Caucasian Chalk Circles.

Now, if you think that two homosexual men are just as suitable parents for a baby as a heterosexual couple, then quite clearly, the Fianna Fail vote for equality of marriage is not a problem for you. But if you think differently: if you consider that a boy should be raised with a mother and father, then the Fianna Fail vote is more than a difficulty, for it will legally prevent an adoption agency from even having an opinion on such matters. Two men with a gay lifestyle will be as absolutely entitled to adopt as a church-going married couple: and I am not implying any paedophilia here. I am merely talking about lifestyle. One will be equal to the other.

Admittedly, Ireland is not unique in its failure to admit to the immutable power of the laws of inconvenient consequence. It is a general liberal failing. For example, conservatives in the US warned of the dire calamity that would result from the liberalisation of the laws against homosexual acts. Actually, their pessimistic forecasts fell far short of the catastrophic reality: at least 250,000 deaths from AIDS. Now just about every American liberal could tell you the price of the Vietnam War for the US: 65,000 dead. But almost no one is aware that the price for male homosexual liberation was around four times the death-toll of Vietnam, and in a far shorter period. OK: so was that worth it? And I’m not expressing an opinion either way, just asking a question.

What about a woman’s right to choose? Well in Britain, that has just run into the moral brick wall of selective abortions, whereby mothers of Asian origin are having sex-scans, and then having the foetus aborted if female. Sorry: what was that mantra about “a woman’s right to choose”? The recent feminist indignation in Britain over this “gendercide” would almost be entertaining if the moral complexity and implicit human tragedy were less horrifying (the foetus has to be well-advanced before her sex can be identified, at which point the little girl is beheaded in utero, before the inconvenient she-matter is hosed out of the womb). Consequence, you see; every single human decision has a consequence. It’s as well to remember that the next time you vote for someone’s “rights”.

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The Irish Independent Fact-Checking Whirlagig:

– The statistic of 90% fatherlessness for prison inmates in the US is incorrect. The best statistics are Department of Justice from 2003 that put the figure at 39%.

– The piece ignores existing and well-known research on gay couples’ abilities in raising children, namely that they do a perfectly equal (or better) job.

– The AIDS virus and gay adoption have nothing in common. But if we’re going to bring up that old chestnut, it would be nice for some journalists to acknowledge that the toll that virus had on our community was less to do with how awful we are as people, and more to do with the fact that governments and media organisations ignored the issue for so long because it was killing off people they thought deserved it. The New York Times famously ignored the issue for over a year while it was killing one of its own journalists.

– The article doesn’t want to suggest paedophilia. So brings up paedophilia.

– The article is about gay adoption. So brings up age of consent, abortion and AIDS.

– The article states that in the UK it is illegal for adoption agencies to seek out heterosexual couples. A fancy play on words, but untrue. They are instead restricted from denying gay couples the right to adopt. Factually just a misnomer, but an example of the implication that more rights for gays equals fewer rights for straights.

– On the subject of abortion, Myers’ sex-selective story is an example of, if not a lie, then a common logical fallacy of political discourse. Namely that a minority abusing a service renders that service inherently wrong. No, it renders the abuse wrong.

– And on a final note about misnomers, it might be worth pointing out that while action has consequence, so does inaction. To imply that retaining the status quo does not have consequences is idiocy.

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About alfla

Playwright, screenwriter, sometime improv enthusiast and full-time television lover. You know, in THAT way.
This entry was posted in LGBT Rights, Sober Thoughts, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Irish Independent Continues Anti-Gay Crusade

  1. Thanks for posting that article here, really don’t want to help fuel that sort of bilge even a little by reading it on their website. Disappointing.

  2. J says:

    Thank you. I think it’s time we boycotted the Independent and encouraged friends and family to do likewise. I shudder to think what effective reading such bile has on vulnerable gay and lesbian teenagers and young adults who are struggling to come to terms with their orientation and afraid to confide their parents or their friends. It gets better. Much better. Those of us who are out, live wonderful lives filled with people from every walk of life who share our passion for justice. Some day soon lesbians and gays will enjoy a fully equal future. The dying throes of homophobia my be vicious but they are quite unrepresentative of the Irish public as a whole 73% of whom support marriage equality for lesbian and gay people. Don’t let a few homophobes ruin your life, their words are an embarrassment even to them. Life is beautiful.

  3. Aoife Nic says:

    I like your breakdown of the article. Well observed and nicely phrased.

  4. And Kevin Meyers does it again. I love the Indo and will continue to read it. Just because they have a gobshite like Meyers working for them does not make them Anti gay. It just means they have bad taste in employing meyers as he’s a narrow minded bigot.

    • alfla says:

      I’d be inclined to say that the blame falls somewhere beyond Myers – someone isn’t fact-checking his work. And considering that work is being used to make disparaging presumptions about a minority it’s a sin of omission by their staff.

      Opinion is opinion, but Myers regularly lies – and that’s something that the paper as a whole bears some responsibility for.

    • SK says:

      I disagree. Even though it is an opinion piece, it does reflect the scruples of the paper. It’s commonly known that newspapers have political leanings and agendas. Publishing articles by Meyers is clearly an indicator that they believe their readership will be interested by his opinion. Meyers is staunchly right-wing, xenophobic, (British) nationalist, and incredibly offensive for the sake of it. The Indo obviously think their readers fall into this category, or are interested in that kind of journalism. I will not count myself as one of them while Meyers is on their payroll.

  5. Pingback: The Blaxploitation Of Kevin Myers | [ par·al·lel·e·vi·sion ]

  6. Indo prints homophobic tripe again. We can complain to the Press Ombudsman, I’ve explained how here: http://www.technomancy.org/lgbt/kevin-myers/

  7. Pingback: So As Not To Line Their Coffers | [ par·al·lel·e·vi·sion ]

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