Ref Com confirms that two heterosexual male or female friends can marry under proposed new law

Press release from The Iona Institute

This confirms the extent to which marriage will be radically changed

The Referendum Commission has confirmed to The Iona Institute that two heterosexual friends of the same sex will be allowed to marry each other under the proposed new law should the marriage referendum be carried on May 22.

The question The Iona Institute posed to the Referendum Commission was as follows:

Could two heterosexual male or female friends who are not closely related marry each other under the terms of the proposed new marriage law?

The answer from a Referendum Commission spokesperson was as follows:

The simple answer is yes.

Commenting on the response, David Quinn of The Iona Institute said: “The fact that the referendum would allow two straight friends of the same sex to marry confirms the extent to which the current meaning and understanding of marriage would be radically changed.

“At present marriage is, by definition, the sexual union of one man and one woman. If the referendum is passed, it will simply be a legally recognised relationship open to any two people who are not closely related and are of the right age.”

He continued: “Consummation will no longer be a requirement for marriage in all or possibly any cases. Already in other jurisdictions with same-sex marriage, there is no consummation requirement for same-sex couples. Logically, this means there is no reason to stop two straight male or female friends from marrying either.

“In New Zealand last year, two straight male friends, Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick married. They did it for a joke, but it was legally recognised.

“Over time, as the public understanding of marriage changes, and as people realise marriage is no longer understood as a sexual union per se, some will marry simply to avail of tax advantages, especially in terms of being able to inherit one another’s property without paying heavy tax”.

David Quinn went on: “What we are seeing is a total transformation of marriage into what in some cases will amount to no more than a method of tax avoidance.

“It might be said that ‘sham’ marriages already exist. But consummation is assumed. Two straight male or female friends who wish to marry in order to gain the tax benefits of marriage won’t have to pretend anything given the drastic change to the legal understanding and meaning of marriage on offer.”

He concluded: “If voters come to understand just how radical what is really being done to marriage is they will certainly vote No on May 22”.