Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
Catholic Church: Dark influence still active
Tom Parlon launches new career in comedy Anthony
Presumption of innocence does not universally apply in Ireland Anthony
The poor standard of Irish political journalism Anthony
RTE bias: A failure of objective journalism Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Moveable Feast Cafe 2019/07/16 ? Open Thread Tue Jul 16, 2019 18:00 | Herb Swanson
2019/07/16 17:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
?Rock ?n roll is dead!? ?Yellow Vests are dead!? ? uncool Western reporting Tue Jul 16, 2019 03:03 | The Saker
by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog I?m not a huge Pink Floyd fan, but everyone else in the West apparently is ? the album The Dark Side of the
Reza Pahlavi sells himself at a 98% discount to MBS? propaganda channel Tue Jul 16, 2019 02:59 | The Saker
by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV by permission) (Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He
We need a moderator, please help! Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:12 | admin-herb
Dear friends, Our moderator Michael has recently left us. We need someone to help us cover his hours. M-F (5days) 3:00pm-6:00pm (GMT) ( 11am – 2:00pm eastern NY time daylight
Turkey Will Get a Chunk of Syria: An Advantage of Being in NATO Sun Jul 14, 2019 06:30 | The Saker
by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog The success of Turkey?s takeover of Syria?s most pro-jihadist province, Idlib, is making less and less likely that Syria will be able to
The Saker >>
A Blog About Human Rights
China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights
Declaration of Human Rights at Sea Mon Apr 08, 2019 07:31 | Human Rights
NZ Watchdog On Limits Of Free Speech Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:44 | Human Rights
US Abortion Restrictions Violating The Human Rights Of Women Thu Mar 14, 2019 15:33 | Human Rights
Human Rights Watch Urges the Human Rights Council to Renew and Strengthen Mandate of UN Commission Tue Mar 12, 2019 21:51 | Human Rights
Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Freedom of speech and freedom from consequences 10:12 Tue Jul 16, 2019 | WorldbyStorm
Speaking of broad churches 09:02 Tue Jul 16, 2019 | guestposter
A broad church 08:32 Tue Jul 16, 2019 | WorldbyStorm
The world of workers: Job Stress 10:29 Mon Jul 15, 2019 | WorldbyStorm
Discrimination ? some new figures to analyse 09:30 Mon Jul 15, 2019 | Tomboktu
Cedar Lounge >>
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.