A gay commentator says same-sex marriage is a “bare-faced state power grab”, and not “some warm fluffy equality bunny”.
Paddy Manning, writing in the Irish Daily Mirror, said that with gay marriage the state remakes the institution as “an anything-goes irrelevant partnership agreement between adults”.
And he commented that same-sex marriage “asks us to ignore reality and children’s rights”.
He was taking part in a newspaper debate after it was revealed the Republic of Ireland is to hold a referendum on the issue in 2015.
Mr Manning commented: “I’m a gay man, I’m not a victim and I reject this notion that traditional marriage should be drastically altered for some fantasy.”
He said that civil partnerships are sufficient, and that Ireland is “a very different place for us now”.
And Mr Manning, who is a blogger and campaigner, remarked: “Claiming that equality demands that men and women be as interchangeable as Lego blocks shows you don’t understand men and women, marriage or much else.”
He added: “We can ignore reality all we want but the outcomes for children are not the same across all family models.
“Marriage of a man and a woman gives children the best chance.”
Writing in favour of a redefinition of marriage was Tiernan Brady, Policy Director at the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network.
Earlier this month the Irish Government announced the referendum on same-sex marriage – which will be in the same year as the UK general election.
Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he supports gay marriage “very strongly” and that the Government will actively campaign for it.
But the Iona Institute, a campaign group which promotes the place of marriage and religion in society, said changing the law for same-sex couples is not an issue of equality.
Dr John Murray, one of the directors of the organisation, said: “This debate is really about the value we attach to a child having a mother and a father as distinct from two fathers or two mothers.”
The Roman Catholic Church said it would seek to keep the law as it is.