To oppose gay marriage is not necessarily a bigoted position

By Breda O Brien - Irish Times

Thoughtful conservatives are not bigoted, intellectually inferior or vile: they just see the balance of values differently

It may seem odd to describe Fintan O’Toole’s article on gay marriage ( Opinion , Tuesday April 16th) as a classic exposition of liberal values, given that the only reason he can conceive of for opposing gay marriage is bigotry motivated by revulsion for gay people.

Admittedly, it does seem distant from “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

But it remains a brilliant exposition of liberal values. Take this: “A marriage freely entered into is a personal relationship. It stands or falls, endures or collapses, is a heaven or a hell, solely because of the way the people in that relationship treat each other.”

In short, there is no such thing as society, only families and individuals.

Jonathan Haidt, author of the The Righteous Mind , believes that liberals and conservatives constantly misunderstand each other, using the same words but meaning entirely different things. Take marriage. Fintan believes it is a personal relationship, to be maintained as long as romantic love endures. But if marriage is simply a personal relationship, why does the State have any interest in it?

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3 Responses to To oppose gay marriage is not necessarily a bigoted position

  1. dianeofdromonig April 22, 2013 at 12:35 am

    I think it interesting that these stories are posted to be honest. Are they relevant? Yes they are, because they out the authors as bigots and egotists who think that they have a ‘Right’ to deprive others of their Rights. A free society does not work that way. I would refer people to the Irish Constitution, our primary Law. All persons will be equal before the law, anything that sets any Law abiding people on a lower rung than the perceived majority, is unlawful. If we abide by The Constitution-Bunreacht na hEireann-then we will be alright, if we do not we will descend into the most horrible chaos-take your pick, one or the other!

  2. FIREBRAND April 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Its not about liberal or conservative, its about the state and the individual/s. If two gay people wish to be together, then so be it, its none of the state’s business.Stop trying to enforce your views on other people.
    Providing you don’t cause harm, loss or injury to another human being, people should be left to live their lives without the state’s interference.

    • Diane Denizen April 24, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Agreed! But, for those who want it, if the State extends a benefit to one group it must extend those benefits to all Law abiding groups. Or society simply does away with all benefits and lives everyone to get on with their lives at their own pace.


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