So As Not To Line Their Coffers

Much of the annoyance at the Irish Independent’s continued editorial policy of allowing columnists – most commonly Kevin Myers – spout factual inaccuracies when condemning minorities cites how the public outrage funds the paper’s advertising interests.

So below is a copy-paste of today’s letters page in response to Myers’ recent inflammatory article. Good response from sane people.

See also the fantastic Occupy Kevin Myers site for more of the same.

No, Mr Myers

I write regarding the article by Kevin Myers headed: ‘Every single human decision has a consequence — so remember that the next time you vote for someone’s rights’

I am now the adult version of what he describes as “a boy without a strong male figure in my life, on an express train heading for trouble”. He uses this as an example to indicate how a child would be better growing up with heterosexual parents rather than a lesbian couple. Both myself and my younger brother must have missed this proverbial train as the two women in our lives growing up did a pretty damn good job. My mother luckily had the help of my older sister.

We are all adults now. My sister is a teacher, my brother’s an engineer and I’m an airline pilot. Maybe it’s a red line Luas he is referring to, sure we’ll catch it on the green line!

Conor McBreen

Address with editor

At the heart of Kevin Myers’s warning against the unintended consequences of marriage rights for same-sex couples (Irish Independent, March 14) is the assertion that a parental unit composed of one man and one woman is categorically, all other things being equal, of greater benefit to an adopted child, than one composed of either two men or two women.

In citing “the record of every society” as evidence, Mr Myers commits the ‘natural fallacy’ — implying that since this is the way things have always been, it is self-evident that any deviation would be deficient, and harmful to the social order.

It is a piece of reasoning with an infamous heritage: slavery, marital separation of the races, the limited franchise — all these social arrangements have proceeded along the same line. First, accepted unquestioningly; second, challenged by a courageous few; third, overturned by law; and finally, remembered with horror in the collective imagination “of every society”.

In purely scientific terms, his hypothesis is fatally flawed. Since same-sex families have rarely been given a full-faith chance to prove that they can function, producing well-adjusted and healthy children, the ‘sample size’ is simply too small to be able to draw a conclusion. In the absence of such data, as it were, it is incumbent on Mr Myers and his ilk to prove an a priori, inherent defect in the capacity for same-sex adoption to work.

This piece continues their record of failure in this regard.

Indeed, Mr Myers himself should be wary of the consequences of his rhetoric. The speculation that same-sex families can never thrive, in truth because they have never been given the chance to thrive, risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This injustice and bad logic will inevitably be relegated to the ash heap of history, along with its predecessors. Fianna Fail’s new position on same-sex marriage, though long overdue, should be commended for speeding up the process.

Dan MacGuill

Park Ave, Ambler, Pennsylvania

A bad day at the typewriter for the often excellent journalist Kevin Myers, who implies that the legalisation of homosexuality in the US caused 250,000 deaths from AIDS. On that logic, the criminalisation of heterosexuality in Africa would cure the continent of the disease.

David Warren

Ranelagh, Dublin 6

This is the second letter that I have had to write this year in protest at an article in your paper. Usually I never feel the urge to write in to a publication. I believe that people have the right to their opinions; and that while I don’t agree with things some people might say, they have every right to say it.

The article by Kevin Myers is full of inciteful inaccuracies. From his flawed reasoning on the suitability of two women as parents (by failing to explore the fact that there may be a second causal factor that is not gender related — the lack of a second parent) to his assertion that an increase in the spread of AIDS was a consequence of ”male homosexual liberation”, seeming to ignore the fact that it is possible for straight couples to carry and spread the virus, the article is hugely inflammatory.

One sentence pushed the article to a new low. He writes: “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.” In one throwaway sentence, Mr Myers immediately links homosexuality with paedophilia.

As someone who works with young people, I am most concerned at the message that such hatred portrays to those who are struggling with their sexuality, afraid about what society will think of them.

This article, along with many of the others that have appeared in your publication, implies that they are a ‘consequence’ that has to be ‘dealt with’ by society. In 2009, a study by Trinity College showed that 50pc of LGBT people under the age of 25 have seriously considered ending their own lives, and 20pc of those under 25 had attempted to do so at least once. Articles in high profile publications, like those written by Mr Myers, that spread a message of intolerance can have greater consequences than simply resulting in letters like this one. These issues affect real people, in a real way.

Perhaps he should have thought about that before he sat down and wrote such hurtful words. I didn’t read the article in question in your paper, or on your site. I read a version directly copied and pasted from the site because I refuse to feed in to the revenue stream that results from writers in your newspaper attacking minorities.

I beg you to reconsider your editorial policy on articles like this. Too much is at stake.

Rachel Barry

Trinity College, Dublin 2

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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. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to So As Not To Line Their Coffers

  1. Anne Marie says:

    Good stuff, thanks for re-posting as I feel as Rachel Barry does!

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