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Iona Documents

Legal Opinion: The rights of a mother and father in light of the proposed referendum

If we pass the marriage referendum as the Government wants, it will have profound changes on how we view the family in our law. A major legal opinion commissioned by The Iona Institute examines this question. It shows that our ability to give preference to motherhood and fatherhood in Irish law will be severely and probably wholly undermined.

The opinion by Michael Collins SC and Paul Brady BL examines the Constitution, and in particular Article 41, called ‘The Family’, in the light of various rulings by the Supreme Court. 

It shows that the constitutionally protected right to marry is also a constitutionally protected right to have children. The right to marry therefore is unavoidably linked to the rights of children.

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About the Iona Institute

The Iona Institute promotes the place of marriage and religion in society. Our starting point in debates about the family is that all children deserve the love of their own mother and father whenever possible. We believe in publicly-funded denominational schools. We also promote freedom of conscience and religion.

The Iona Institute is headed by religious and social affairs commentator, David Quinn.

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The Iona Institute helped to represent the almost 750,000 voters who voted against the redefinition of marriage and the family. To keep informed about our activities, please click 'Read More' below.

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Latest News

School ethos should not be sacrificed by equality law amendment says Iona Institute Chairman

Proposed changes to Ireland's Employment Equality Act in the area of religious-run institutions are unnecessary and should not be implemented, the Chairman of the Board of the Iona Institute has said. Responding to a proposal made by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the country's Minister of State for Equality, to amend legislation – specifically section 37.1 of the Act - to remove the right of Church-backed schools and hospitals to select staff in keeping with religious ethos, Dr John Murray told The Irish Times that should such a move take place, denominational education should be afforded protection.
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Gay cake row bakery to appeal ‘discrimination’ ruling

The Northern Ireland bakery that would not bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan on it is to appeal the ruling of discrimination made against earlier this month. Following a judgement by Belfast County Court that Ashers Baking Company had breached equality legislation by refusing to bake the requested cake, the owners, the McArthur family, issued a statement in which they announced their intention to challenge the ruling.
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The Iona Blog

The BAI backs ending public debate…on practically everything that matters

In a piece in The Irish Times today Laura Slattery basically calls for a total end to the debate about same-sex marriage. She quotes from an interview she did with Michael O'Keeffe, the BAI chief executive, a while ago, and says she “asked him whether same-sex marriage would still be regarded as the subject of current public debate if the referendum were passed. Could the No side continue to insist, citing the code, that expressions of equality must be countered by faith-fuelled pronouncements? O’Keeffe responded: “On the assumption that it is passed, then it’s a legal right. For me that should probably be the end of the matter as a matter of public debate.”
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Recent and Upcoming Events

March
19

The teaching of the Church on marriage today

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, will address The Iona Institute on March 19, 2015 on the topic 'The teaching of the Church on marriage today'.

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Oct
23

Church of Mercy, Church of Standards

Our most recent event dealt with the topic ‘Church of Mercy or Church of Standards?’ At present there is a debate in the Catholic Church about the meaning of mercy. This has been prompted by the emphasis Pope Francis has been placing on mercy, and also by prominence of the topic in the lead-up to the Synod on the Family in Rome.

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