Irish actor Cillian Murphy and NUIG professor Pat Dolan have criticised the “negative” use of children in the debate about the upcoming marriage referendum.
Cillian Murphy has released a joint statement with Professor Pat Dolan of NUI Galway criticising the negative use of children and their welfare in the referendum debate.
According to The Irish Times, Professor Dolan stated that while they are both interested in children’s issues, they are not advocating for a vote one way or the other.
“The forthcoming same-sex marriage referendum relates to adults’ human right to marry whom they chose regardless of sexual orientation,” they said in a statement.
“Divisive negative issues raised in relation to children and their welfare are being used to deflect from the core question in the referendum,” it states.
Murphy is a patron of the NUIG Child and Family Research Centre and they both feel that children’s issues should be a separate issue to the marriage referendum.
“The position of the Unesco Child and Family Research Centre at NUIG and its patron is that the most essential factor for a child or adolescent is that they have a loving, consistent and caring parent or parents who cater for their physical, intellectual, emotional, and social needs.
“The centre’s position is the achievement of young people’s rights requires that their hopes and wishes for their future be realised regardless of their sexual orientation, and inclusive of their rights to marry,” Cillian Murphy and Pat Dolan state.
“Despite the fact that our centre has trained young researchers with a view on this matter, it is notable that just as in the case of the Children’s Referendum in 2013, the voice and opinion of young people is in the main absent in the discourse, despite adults purporting to represent their interests.”
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