Former Irish President, Mary McAleese gives exclusive interview to Newstalk and officially backs a Yes vote in May’s same-sex marriage referendum.
Speaking to George Hook on Newstalk’s The Right Hook, McAleese passionately called for a Yes vote in the referendum on same-sex marriage – saying that she has been closely following debates around the issue.
“I’m hoping very much, my husband and I are both hoping very much, that [the referedum] will be passed,” she said in the interview recorded in Notre Dame University, where she is serving as a visiting scholar.
“What we both feel very strongly is, particularly as we approach 2016, that this is – it is a debate about children, people have been saying it’s about children – and we believe it to be about Ireland’s gay children and about their future and about the kind of future we want for Ireland. We want, in the words of the proclamation: ‘The children of a nation to be cherished equally’.
“The adult children, the children yet unborn, the gay children yet unborn – we want them to be born into a world where if they fall in love with someone they can express that love fully,” she said.
McAleese slammed former Pope Benedict for his “rather regrettable” comments on homosexuality, in which he describe gay people as being “intrinsically disordered”.
“Many of us do not believe it to be ‘intrinsically disordered’ but believe it to be a perfectly normal human adaptation,” she stated.
“Many countries [are] now embracing the idea that homosexuality is a perfectly normal human sexual expression and that it is, as it has been thought in the past, a skewed, or in the words of the church, the rather regrettable words of the church – when I think back to what Benedict has written about it when he described it as ‘intrinsically disordered’.
McAleese also spoke about the issue of self-harm and suicide among the LGBT community. “We have in Ireland a very serious problem of youth suicide, particularly of male suicide and we now know from the evidence that one of the most at risk groups of cohorts within that age group, sort of 15-25, is the young male homosexual, and I think that we owe those children a huge debt as adults who have opportunities to make choices that impact their lives, to make the right choices – choices that will allow their lives to grow organically, safely and to give them the joy of being full citizens in their own country.”
You can tune into Newstalk to listen to the full interview.
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