Anti-Gay Irish Marriage Group: Homosexuality Causes Cancer
Members of an anti-gay marriage group based in Ireland have been handing out pamphlets that claim gay men and women die younger than their straight counterparts, are susceptible to cancer and are more likely to abuse children, Newsweek reports.
According to the newspaper, members of the Alliance for the Defence of the Family and Marriage (ADFAM), a group that claims to "promote and defend the traditional family," are handing out information, outside of churches and rugby matches, to spread their anti-gay beliefs. Newsweek notes an Irish journalist received the pamphlet, which is called "Why Should I Vote Against Same-Sex Marriage?," outside a Divine Mercy event in Dublin.
The incident comes as the run-up to the Irish Republic's referendum on gay marriage is scheduled for May 22. The ADFAM's paper lists why voters should vote against the gay marriage referendum.
In an interview with the Irish Times, Seamas de Barra, a member of ADFAM, backs up the group's anti-gay claims with research from Denmark. The group also claims that same-sex couples, "don't even live together."
Newsweek reports in the past, members of ADFAM said voting for same-sex marriage "is like voting for Islamic State-style sharia law. It is giving in to a very small minority. In this case, the very small minority will dictate what marriage means. Persecution of Christians surely will follow, and it will become a crime to teach and preach Christian morality."
Irish Gay and Lesbian Equality Networks' policy direct called ADFAM's pamphlet "disrespectful" and "an attack on the humanity of certain citizens of Ireland."
"Unfortunately there are those who will take us back to a time of intolerance. ADFAM don't seem to care that the referendum is a vote about real people and real people's rights," Tiernan Brady told Newsweek. "Lesbian and gay people will read that pamphlet, and the intent can be nothing other than to do as much damage to people. Their motivation is dark, dangerous and disgraceful. We have to remain positive."
Brady said ADFAM's views are "out of tune" with the rest of Ireland. Newsweek notes polls show that 77 percent of votes are in favor of marriage equality.
"The polls are positive, but that doesn't mean we should become complacent," he added. "Ireland has been a phenomenal success story in recent years, from the decriminalisation of same-sex sexual activity in 1993, to a referendum on equal marriage in just over 20 years. But this leaflet is an attempt to turn the clock back to a time when gays and lesbians lived in the shadows."