First Families First Official Press Release

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Document setting out the rationale and objectives of First Families First

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<p>PRESS RELEASE 30 April 2015 </p> <p>PRESS RELEASE 30 April 2015(Embargo: 11am, Friday May 1st) LAUNCH OF FIRST FAMILIES FIRST</p> <p>The risk involved in the so-called Marriage Equality Referendum relates to the changed Constitutional definition of Family that will arise from the amendment, says new No-to-the-amendment campaigning group, First Families First, proposing what it describes as an essential amendment to safeguard children and families.</p> <p>_________________________________________</p> <p>First Families First is to be officially launched at a press conference in Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin, at 11 am tomorrow, Friday, 1 May. At its launch this Friday morning, First Families First, a new group established to campaign against the amending of Article 41 of the Constitution to provide for what is termed Marriage Equality, said that the amendment as it stands would amount to an act of vandalism against the Constitution. First Families First has been established to defend the rights of existing families married and unmarried or single parent against the hidden consequences of the same-sex marriage amendment. The campaigning group has been established by Kathy Sinnott, John Waters and Gerry Fahey to promote, and advocate for a new, child and parent-friendly amendment to the Constitution, which they say would protect families against the effects of radical interference with other aspects of the Constitution and recent legislation.The group has been formed to oppose the particular measure being supported/advocated by the Government, rather than the principle of same-sex marriage, on which various members of First Families First have different positions.First Families First says that simply including a provision for same-sex marriage into Article 41 of the Constitution will radically alter the meaning of Family and Parenthood, and undermine the existing rights of families and in particular the biological connections between parents and children. First Families First says that the same-sex marriage amendment will on its own will fatally undermine and render obsolete the criterion of genetic and biological connection within the Constitutional definition of parenthood, thus abolishing any relevance of natural procreation in defining what a family is. If the same-sex marriage amendment is passed, the group says, serious wrongs are likely to arise in future family court proceedings arising from decision that are likely to be contrary to the best interests of children as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In time, this will inevitably set at naught the significance of a biological connection between parent and child. In effect, says First Families First, the amendment reduces the rights available under the existing definitions of Family in pursuit of a greatly reduced and bogus form of equality arising from an entirely altered definition of marriage. First Families First proposes a further amendment to theConstitutionto protect the natural child-parent bond. The group says that this change is essential in view of the interaction of the Children Rights Amendment, The Children and Family Relationship Act and the proposed Marriage Equality Amendment. </p> <p>First Families First opposes the current Government proposal for change to Article 41, believing that, before any further changes are made to the constitutional provisions in respect of Family, the inclusion of a new sentence to Article 40.3.1, taken directly from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is essential to protect families and children from the dangers likely to arise from the passage of measures such as the same-sex marriage amendment. The change to Article 40.3.1 advocated by First Families First is as follows (new section in italics):</p> <p>40. 3.1</p> <p>The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen. In particular, the State shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both of its biological parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents.</p> <p>Contact: firstfamiliesfirst@gmail.com or 0872336047</p> <p>Ends</p>