Today FM “The government has hijacked human being’s emotions”

Dublin footballer Ger Brennan spoke to The Anton Savage Show this morning following his opinion piece in today’s Irish Independent “Why I’m voting No”.

Asked by Anton Savage why he wrote the piece, Ger explained: “The last 3 or 4 weeks as the referendum date is nearing and the debates are picking up, I would have been asked by a lot of my peers what my thinking was on it.”

“When one hears the term ‘equality; your human instinct is going to jump and say ‘yes’ because we all want everyone to be equal. But, what the Government have done really well is kind of hijacked human beings emotions and played on that without highlighting deeper consequences from a legal point of view.”

“Coupled with the antagonizing view from the ‘Yes’ campaign that If you are even slightly ‘No’ or even thinking about it, that you are a homophobic and that you are anti-gay, which for me is not the case”

On equality & gay marriage

Ger told Anton what the term ‘equality’ means to him: “That potential to grow spiritually, emotionally, sexually, intellectually and that within Irish society we do protect that equality for people to develop in those ways”

Ger explained that while he doesn’t have an issue with gay marriage, he is concerned about children brought up in a family where their biological parents are not present: “The term marriage does not scare me at all. It’s more so the legal implications for a child going forward based on the current proposal. But if there was an amendment included into the current referendum suggestion, well then I would be very happy to vote yes”

“I don’t think we are doing our children and our future children a proper service by legally implying that it is OK for a child, all things being equal, to begin the opportunity where it’s impossible to be brought up by their biological mothers and fathers”

The Dublin footballer continued:“Is the love of a homosexual couple equal to the love of a heterosexual couple? Absolutely it is. But there are biological differences and disadvantages because of our genetic makeup”

On gender balance

“I just feel that gender balance is extremely important when it comes, certainly to the raising of a child, and where possible to have the biological parents involved. But I do think that there is great value in having a child being brought up in a home that has a father and a mother, a biological father and mother as far as possible. They (homosexual couples and heterosexual couples) are equal in their love but biologically disadvantaged”

On same sex couples having a child

Anton: “Do you believe that a man and a man with a child and a woman and a woman with a child can create a family of equal love and equal merit as a man and a woman with a child?”

Ger Brennan: “Yes, I do believe that. At the same time I believe we’d be doing that child a disadvantage and a disservice if those parents are not his biological parents. Blood is thicker than water”

Anton commented that Ger’s beliefs would prove difficult for some parents to accept: “That’s a difficult position for parents of adopted children, difficult position for parents who have become pregnant by sperm donors, parents who have taken children over from family members who have passed, difficult position for step parents”

To which, Ger responded: “the preferential option for me would be to ensure that a child is given the right to know their biological mother and father”

Anton finished the interview by asking Ger about his position on gay marriage: “If the legislation makes clear that a child must have access to whoever is their biological parent, do you care if gay people get married?”

Ger responded: “In theory to what you’ve just said, yes. But I think that would have to be funneled down to some finer points. But yes, I would be absolutely fine in saying that. On the surface, yes we’re equal, straight away but what are the legal ramifications through this constitutional change? I think it’s devaluing the special role that biological parents would have in raising their kids”

Asked if he thinks he’ll be “vilified” for writing the piece, Ger replied: “If I am, I am. I have a thick skin”

You listen to the interview in full here.