No campaigners fixated with sex, says senator Eamonn Coghlan

Speaking at LGBT event FG senator says No campaign focuses on wrong issues

Campaigners opposed to a Yes vote in this month’s marriage referendum are fixated with the topic of sex, according to Fine Gael senator Eamonn Coghlan.

Campaigners opposed to a Yes vote in this month’s marriage referendum are fixated with the topic of sex, according to Fine Gael senator Eamonn Coghlan.

 

Campaigners opposed to a Yes vote in this month’s marriage referendum are fixated with the topic of sex, according to Fine Gael senator Eamonn Coghlan.

Speaking at an event today organised by LGBT support organisation BeLonGTo, the 5,000 metres gold medallist expressed his belief that a Yes vote on May 22nd will relieve the “mental torture” endured by gay people such as his own son Michael.

“People on the No campaign are thinking about the wrong reasons and fear- they’re thinking about sex, not love,” he said, adding that questions around adoption and surrogacy are being wrongly conflated with issues which are truly relevant to the upcoming ballot.

“The fear the No campaign bring into this referendum is not correct, because it’s not about children.”

The event brought together parents who will be voting Yes on Friday week.

Mr Coghlan’s son Michael was writing about his own experiences of being a gay man in Ireland in the national media today, and the Dublin senator went on to detail an expletive-laden encounter he and his wife had with an individual who told them that gay people are “descended from Satan”.

Also present was Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly, who insisted that while he doesn’t agree with their views he does respect the position of some No voters.

“I respect people’s right to vote No, and I want to be sure that they’re doing so without the confusion of all these extraneous matters which are being brought in which this referendum is not about. It is not about adoption, it is not about children and it is not about surrogacy,” he said.

Debbie Kenny has raised her two children as a single mother since their father died 18 years ago. Her 28 year-old son Jamie is gay, and she believes the No campaign has adopted a deliberately offensive approach towards both her and her children.

“I feel the No side has not been a great campaign at all. Personally, I have found their posters to be offensive because my two children were brought up by me from the time my eldest son Jamie was 10 because their father died in a car accident,” she said.

“I did the job of a mother and a father. I have two great sons and I feel I did quite a good job, so I’m proud of that.”