A child’s right to a mother and father would be denied if same-sex marriage is legalised, says a statement by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
The statement has been made ahead of the referendum on gay marriage, which will take place in the country on 22 May.
So far, three of the four main churches in the Republic of Ireland have expressed opposition to the redefinition of marriage.
The statement reads: “The Presbyterian Church in Ireland upholds the historic – and Christian – view of marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman. We affirm that it is needed for the common good of society.
“In recognising the rights of all people within a democracy, we must include the rights of children, and the natural responsibilities of a father and a mother in their nurture. We believe the change proposed in the referendum denies these rights.”
It continues: “A redefinition of marriage would establish new norms within our society, the implications of which have not been fully explored.”
Opposition to the redefinition of marriage has also come from pro-traditional marriage group Mothers and Fathers Matter, which launched its campaign against redefinition on 17 April.
Yesterday, Dr Thomas Finegan, an advisor for the group, argued against the claim that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, saying it is “irrational”.
He said that because traditional marriage is a union “oriented towards children and providing those children with both a mother and a father”, it is deserving of “special State support and recognition”.
Natural and Fundamental
Dr Finegan also stressed that traditional marriage is enshrined in Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Irish constitution.
He said: “This article considers marriage as a man-woman union, as linked to the founding of a family, and as ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society'”.
Mr Finegan concluded: “Marriage should not be putty in the hands of the dominant political paradigm. It has its own integrity, nature and rationale.”