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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

US pharmacists denied conscience right in contraception case

A court in the US state of Washington has ruled that pharmacists do not have a right of conscience on the issue of dispensing so-called 'emergency contraception' which can also act as an abortifacient. In Ireland, pharmacists are already denied this right. The ruling, by a three-judge panel of the Circuit Court of Appeals, overturned a 2012 judgement which had vindicated pharmacists' religious freedom in the area of conscience specifically in the area of 'emergency contraception', such as the morning-after pill.
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Australian Labour Party to strip conscience right on same-sex marriage vote

Australia's Labour Party has voted to remove any conscience clause for members on the issue of same-sex marriage by 2019. A substantial number of Labour party parliamentarians, especially from New South Wales, are opposed to same-sex marriage. Amid the ongoing debate on redefining the country's marriage laws, representatives of the party, currently in opposition, met during the party's annual conference in Melbourne to discuss supporting same-sex marriage and requiring all its members to row in behind such a move, finally deciding to champion a redefinition of marriage once in government.
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The Iona Blog

The government's new childcare strategy is paternalistic and unfair

The Department of Children has just released a report, Future Investment in Childcare in Ireland, suggesting different ways in day-care becomes more affordable for working parents. Some of the proposals, such as those to extend paid parental leave from six months after the birth of a child to a full year, are very welcome. But others are simply unfair, and the logic that undergirds the whole report too often puts the views of NGOs and the State on what is best for children above the wishes of parents.
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Recent and Upcoming Events


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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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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