Govt Minister calls for referendum to remove special status of marriage

Minister for Health Simon Harris has called for a referendum to change the definition of family in the Constitution so as to remove the special status of marriage. He said that it is an area that needs careful consideration and work, but added that “the idea that a mum or dad bringing up a son or daughter, or a grandmother bringing up three or four grandkids for years, effectively raising them, are not recognised as families because of our Constitution’s outdated understanding of what constitutes a family is something that we should examine.”

It means the Government has is moving even further away from the idea that the biological family of mother, father and child based on marriage is of special importance.

Mr Harris was speaking in the Seanad on a revised Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill which corrects drafting errors in legislation from three years ago. That legislation was meant to declare that a child’s real parents are those who intend to raise it, rather than those who are genetically related to it.

Speaking on the new bill, Independent Senator Ronan Mullen said “the child’s best interests are supposed to be paramount, but time and again we see that they only come into it after adults’ aspirations have been facilitated by politicians”.

There was, he said, a “complete absence of debate about the morality of many of these modern techniques designed to secure and procure children for adults to bring up and the herd-like rush to a right-on, politically correct, slavish obedience to a new set of moral norms”.