South Dakota Covid Cases Collapse After ... Wed Jan 27, 2021 20:59 | Marko MarjanoviÄ‡
Canadian Mom Fined $880 for Letting Gran... Wed Jan 27, 2021 19:55 | Lenore Skenazy
Triple-Masker Looks Down on People Who O... Wed Jan 27, 2021 18:56 | The Babylon Bee
Israel Pretends It May Attack Iran, IDF ... Wed Jan 27, 2021 17:50 | The Times of Israel
Reflecting the Authoritarian Climate, Im... Wed Jan 27, 2021 16:51 | Glenn Greenwald
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
With ?Biden? in the White House, the Kremlin now needs to change gear Thu Jan 28, 2021 00:05 | The Saker
[This analysis was written for the Unz Review] First, a clarification. When I speak of “Biden” I don’t mean the fungus (to use Tom Luongo’s apt expression) which was recently
Dress Rehearsal Of Color Revolution In Russia Wed Jan 27, 2021 15:38 | amarynth
South Front Anti-government protests under the pretext of the detention of the notorious Russian opposition leader Navalny took place in various cities across the country. They were characterized by underwhelming
American Prospect Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:34 | amarynth
by Sushi for the Saker Blog If you wish to understand the concerns of those who attended the 1/6 Save America rally, you can learn much by watching the first
Russian President Putin Delivers Speech at Virtual World Economic Forum Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:34 | amarynth
This is the live stream video. The transcript is now being posted as it becomes available. Update: Transcript complete. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Schwab, dear Klaus, Colleagues, I have
Democrats? ?divide and conquer? Senate show trial may jeopardize duopoly Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:42 | amarynth
by Ramin Mazaheri and PressTV Much ink could be spilled about the upcoming, and second, Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, but that would be a waste of ink –
The Saker >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
Mainstream media: Failing to speak truth to power
David Quinn’s selective tolerance Anthony
A Woulfe in judges clothing Anthony
Sarah McInerney and political impartiality Anthony
Did RTE journalists collude against Sinn Fein? Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A Blog About Human Rights
Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights
Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights
Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights
Turkish President Calls On Greece To Comply With Human Rights on Syrian Refugee Issues Wed Mar 04, 2020 17:58 | Human Rights
US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights
Human Rights in Ireland >>
Secular Reasons for 'No' in Marriage Referendum
Here are some secular reasons to vote No in the upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage.
Whatever one personally thinks of marriage, just like religion, it should be consigned to the private sphere: I). on philosophical grounds; and ii). because State support for marriage directly contributes to inequality of the treatment of families, and directly discriminates against unmarried parents and their children - regardless of whether the parents are 'straight' or same-sex.
I am not alone in thinking that all marriage is an unnecessary fetish which is the legacy of religious ritual. Where private ceremonies are concerned, it is none of my business; and if invited, I can go along for the party and wish the couple well (within our closed circle of wedding-invitees, or a personal announcement in Social Media etc.). However, as a citizen, the State’s involvement in marriage is my business; and I object on two grounds:
Firstly, State involvement with marriage custom is as archaic as mentions of god in the Constitution or Statute books of any State. If there were to be a referendum on extending the definition of ‘god’ in the Constitution to include all deities, I, as an atheist, would be conscience-bound to vote No, because no god has any place in a Constitution. Concomitantly, when an extension of the legitimisation of marriage is proposed, I am also duty-bound to vote No – because I am against State involvement in marriage.
Despite my personal opinion on marriage, I cannot, and do not, have objections to what people wish to do in their own private ceremonies; or in their campaigns within respective cultural or religious groups to achieve equality within those contexts (including equal access to religious rites). But the State has no business in legislating for, or interfering in, the intimate relationships of consenting adults.
The second reason, is that, because the State’s involvement with marriage is intrinsically bound up with its definitions and redefinitions of the family, it is necessarily directly discriminatory against unmarried families. The following examples are based on the traditional unmarried vs. married family models, for illustrative purposes; but if the referendum is carried, the institutionalised discriminatory divide will merely be maintained across all family types (straight and gay parents alike).
a). Current state involvement with marriage is discriminatory against unmarried fathers, because even after the new family legislation, they do not have automatic rights of guardianship, joint custody, or even access to their children. Conversely, children do not have automatic rights of access to their unmarried fathers. This state of affairs is absurd, and deeply sexist (i.e., discriminatory on grounds of gender).
Marriage, of course, guarantees automatic rights of guardianship, joint custody, and access, to both married partners (whether or not both of them happen to be the biological parents).
Whether or not the referendum is passed, a complete stranger can come along and marry the ‘primary’ parent, and regardless of the wishes of the excluded parent (who may be the biological parent), have all of those automatic rights; and the children have no say.
b). unmarried primary parents are expected to do impossible time-juggling with the back-to-work pressure from when the youngest child turns seven.
c). The State discourages unmarried fathers from having an active family life – thus perpetuating the stereotype of the feckless unmarried father. There should be no difference between how a married or unmarried family is treated.
d). currently, parents need to be married for children to have automatic rights of inheritance.
The welfare of children must be looked to outside of the institution of marriage, because to do otherwise would be to discriminate against the 33% of children born outside wedlock in this country. If Britain and France are ahead of us in social trends, we can expect even more children outside of marriage (UK 48%, and France 52%). We need to work with this social fact, and not against it by bestowing benefits on those who marry.
This country has a legacy of putting unmarried families at a disadvantage – a shameful legacy which should be reversed immediately and completely. This referendum, if not a red herring, is reinforcing this legacy, as well as legitimising and strengthening a discriminatory, unhealthy, and decaying institution.
In sum, the State should treat all children and families equally, and stop discriminating against them on the grounds of marriage. Like religion, any marriage is a personal and private matter which does not belong in a modern or postmodern, secular Civic Sphere. The proposal masks the real inequalities in an increasing number of families, resulting from the State’s heavy support for an archaic fetish; and encouraging such irrational support should be seen in times to come, as a retrograde statement by the Irish electorate.