The College Tribune sat down with columnist, John Waters, to discuss the issue of same-sex marriage.
Waters recounted an incident, which had occurred when he was speaking to a class of foreign students, “they had all these topics, like abortion, gay marriage and so on. They all had the same views and they were all convinced I was some sort of reactionary redneck and they were going to make a joke of me. So I just said, okay, gay marriage, what do you want to know? They said, ‘why are you opposed to gay marriage?’ I said, in a certain sense it’s not even gay marriage that I’m opposed to, it’s the idea of gay adoption. Because marriage is fundamentally societies way of nurturing children. … I said, let me put this question to you. Where are these children going to come from for gay couples to adopt? I said, presumably children are going to have real parents, other parents, fathers and mothers. Are they not to be accounted for? I can tell you that the people who advocate gay marriage have nothing to say on this question at all.”
Adoption, contends Waters, exists “essentially to create a situation where a child who has lost their parents for whatever reason… has the same chance as another child. Having society replicate in so far as is possible the conditions of a normative family for that child. Now we’ve inverted it… the child has become the commodity, the product which is supplied to differently defined, alternative families. This is not what adoption is.”
Waters points out that at present, if a young man gets a girl pregnant, he has no rights over that child, that he can go through court to seek guardianship of the child, but if the court turns him down then that’s it.
Waters states that support for same-sex marriage is the fashionable thing right now, but contends that people ought to actually think about it more logically.
“Don’t think that this is just something you can jump on to become a fashionable person, to become a person with the right opinions. If you’re going to have opinions, by all means have whatever opinions you want, but arrive at them on the basis of reason and logic and fact. Don’t come to me, thinking you’re superior to me because you happen to have a different opinion that you picked up from your fashionable teacher or your fashionable friends.”
This he also believes is true of politicians in Ireland at the moment. Stating, “Politicians see this as an opportunity to advertise their liberal credentials.” Waters believes that this has also become a way for politicians to get cut slack on other issues, because they are seen as having the right opinion on same-sex marriage.
“Interestingly it is the most ‘conservative’ politicians who are the most vulnerable to that because they’re looking for brownie points.” He continued, “They don’t really care. Fundamentally it’s not really an economic issue, it’s not something their careers will live or die on and so it’s an opportunity to buy credit.”
“The way this is being set up where there’s almost a blackmail clause involved, whereby if you don’t support it you’re a homophobe. This bullying is actually silencing people and it’s preventing any kind of open discussion…. You’re sneered at and ridiculed.”
“This is really a kind of satire on marriage which is being conducted by the gay lobby. It’s not that they want to get married; they want to destroy the institution of marriage because they’re envious of it and they feel really, that it’s an affront to their equality… This is the interesting thing, when they were fighting for civil unions and I raised the question that what they really wanted was marriage, but that what they were really wanting was adoption and they all denied it, ‘that’s complete paranoia. We have no interest in marriage at all, this is about our civil-rights’…But the next day they got out of bed and started to campaign for marriage.”
“This is really an attempt to discredit an institution, the nominative institution on which society and human civilization is founded. If you do that there will be consequences, and one of them is that marriage will become a nothing.”
Speaking about the issue of same-sex marriage being portrayed as a civil-rights issue and the strong backing it has received from the Labour Party leader recently, who stated that it was “the civil-rights issue of our time”, Waters points out that the Labour Party are not truly interested in equality or civil-rights at all.
“Lets dispose straight away that the Labour Party is interested in anybodies civil-rights per se, of their human rights per say. They’re interested, ideologically, in pursuing the ‘civil-rights’ or the ‘human rights’ of favoured victim groups, that’s all. They’re not interested in human rights or civil-rights at all. They’re interested in pushing a certain ideological agenda, which is based on certain listed victims.”
Speaking about the lack of support from the Labour Party for fathers’ rights, Waters states, “Not only would I say that they have no interest, but they’ve been actively antagonistic on the issue of father’s rights. Not one person in the Labour party has raised a voice on this issue, not one in a credible way.”
Speaking on the trend to oppose anything harking to religion or tradition in Ireland, Waters points out, “They believe that the differences between men and women are completely a social construct and can be moved around at will.”
“I predict that in fifty, sixty, seventy years, these ideas will have brought disaster in this society and others. Unfortunately, when you speak against them, you are deemed to be a reactionary. They have set this discussion up with these terms, right-wing, conservative, reactionary, these meaningless terms, which never-the-less function as battering rams to defeat any attempt to put forward a reasonable argument.”
Waters criticises those who think that we have become too clever or smart for religion, stating, “There is no distinction between the religious view and the common sense view when you actually deal with all the facts. When you deal with what nature is. When you deal with what love is. When you deal with what all these qualities are. Then you come to the conclusion, that is as it happens, the religious view.”
Waters believes that once you obliterate the mystery of life and stop asking the important questions about reality and what it means you get bunker mentality. “Gay marriage is a product of this bunker mentality”, he states; where people play with words like equality.
Waters points out how most of the Irish newspapers, when civil partnerships were legalized began to use the word marriage, that whenever there’d be a civil partnership they’d describe it as a marriage.
“There’s this inexorable campaign by people who really have no particular stake in it other than they want to destroy what exists… they want to walk into the big-top with a chainsaw and they want to say ‘that pole in the middle is in the way, we’re going to cut it’ and they start cutting it, and that’s what they’re doing… It’s going to happen because we don’t have any intellectual basis in this society anymore to fight it.”
“There is an element in this campaign that wants the victory… the victory that they can advertise, ‘we’ve overcome the forces of tradition, the forces of darkness’… all that stuff…. And they will, but they’ll have to live with the consequences.”
“In this context, the word equality doesn’t really mean equality. It is the pride that will arise from the defeat of certain forces, who are perceived as having dominated in the past.”
“It is a deliberate sabotage of the culture”, continues Waters, “and the relishing of the destruction as a result. Gay marriage is a satire…. But sometimes you have to allow things to happen for the consequences to become obvious.”
– James Grannell
Other articles in this series published in August 2012.