Senator Rónán Mullen

‘Gender’ referendums – will the Government bow to its destructive ideological wing?

It’s being reported that the Government is getting nervous about its proposal to change the ‘woman in the home’ clause, introduce ‘gender equality’ language, and dilute the family-based-on-marriage clause, in our Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann.

Hopefully, reports of Government nervousness are true.

While our country faces the crises that it does in areas like homelessness, inadequate healthcare, alcoholism, drug addiction and street violence, it’s madness really that the Government is spending so much time and resources on niche ideological issues. But that’s what is happening. This is mainly at the behest of the Green Party and a scatter of State-funded NGOs, it seems to me, but it’s enabled by pragmatists in the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leadership who just want to keep the show going until the next election. Sinn Féin, with plenty of ideology in its own ranks, is happy not to oppose.

This isn’t just a fight over words, or ‘culture wars’. In fact, what are called ‘culture war’ issues are emerging as real child protection and child welfare issues. Older and vulnerable people, too, may have their rights undermined.

I think there’s a destructive ideological agenda at work in the referendum proposals, and I’ll explain why in these few posts.


The planned Referendums, arising from an Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality and a Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality, have three specified intentions (according to the Department of Equality). Let’s look at the first one here.

This Article currently reads as follows:

Article 40

1    All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law.

This shall not be held to mean that the State shall not in its enactments have due regard to differences of capacity, physical and moral, and of social function.

This formula could not be simpler, clearer or fairer to all citizens. It’s perfect as it is.

So why change it? Well, if you want to get rid of all male-female distinctions in law, a constitutional ‘snip’ here would be a good way to start.

We know that the Government wants to bend the meaning of ‘gender’ (as seen in the proposed ‘Hate Speech’ Bill) and to leave it open to new interpretations in the future. Minister Simon Harris admitted to ‘futureproofing’ the definition.

The question we must ask ourselves is: Why would any responsible Government dilute a perfectly inclusive clause by inserting confused ‘gender’ wording?

Do they really want to obliterate all male-female distinctions in law?

Looks like it.

And, if they get away with this, what will be the implications for young people and what the Government will try to teach them in schools? What are the consequences for female-only spaces? What are the implications for family members who don’t think a biologically intact male, presenting himself as a woman, is a suitable carer for, say, their elderly mother? Will Home Instead or Bluebird Care or whoever be able to make the necessary distinctions? Have the mainstream elements in the Government (as opposed to the ideologues) considered these problems?

I could go on and on. (And I intend to do so!) But not now. More on the other referendum proposals in the coming days.

NOW, however, really is the time to let your public representatives know that we don’t need a divisive referendum driven by gender ideology. Thanks for reading.

Will the Government bow to destructive ideology?

(Gender referendum – 2)

Previously, I pointed out that the Government is allowing itself to be distracted by niche ideological issues from its real task of solving the countries housing, healthcare and other problems. Not only that, but the agenda being promoted by a destructive ideological wing poses real dangers to children, older and vulnerable people.

In an earlier post, I commented on the first of the Government’s three proposed ‘Gender’ referendum intentions: “To insert a gender equality and non discrimination principle into Article 40.1.”

Now for No. 2: According to Roderic O’Gorman’s Department of Equality, the second proposal will seek “To remove the ‘women in the home’ reference in Article 41.2 of the Constitution and to replace it with language that is not gender specific, and which provides recognition for care.”

The definitive Irish language version of the Constitution can help us understand what the Government is up to here.

Bunreacht na hÉireann currently says:

The Family / An Teaghlach

Article 41.1.1 / Airteagal 41.1.1

The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

Admhaíonn an Stát gurb é an Teaghlach is buíon aonad príomha bunaidh don chomhdhaonnacht de réir nádúir, agus gur foras morálta é ag a bhfuil cearta doshannta dochloíte is ársa agus is airde ná aon reacht daonna.

Article 41.1.2 / Airteagal 41.1.2

The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.

Ós é an Teaghlach is fotha riachtanach don ord chomhdhaonnach agus ós éigeantach é do leas an Náisiúin agus an Stáit, ráthaíonn an Stát comh shuíomh agus údarás an Teaghlaigh a chaomhnú.

Article 41.2.1 / Airteagal 41.2.1

In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved. Go sonrach, admhaíonn an Stát go dtugann an bhean don Stát, trína saol sa teaghlach, cúnamh nach bhféadfaí leas an phobail a ghnóthú dá éagmais.

Article 41.2.2 / Airteagal 41.2.2

The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.

Uime sin, féachfaidh an Stát lena chur in áirithe nach mbeidh ar mháithreacha clainne, de dheasca uireasa, dul le saothar agus faillí a thabhairt dá chionn sin ina ndualgais sa teaghlach.

As can be clearly seen from the Irish version, the ‘woman in the home’ reference is actually a reference to mothers and mothering within the family.

This provision of our Constitution has been disregarded for years. We’ve chosen an economic model that has forced many families to have both parents working outside the home, and these parents must struggle to get the time and resources to care for and nurture their children the way they want to.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am happy to support a change to the Constitution that protects the role of ‘mothers’ and/or ‘fathers’ or ‘parents’ who provide care to their children at home, and which would envisage that both parents would not be ‘obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home’.

Any wrong wording here could weaken Constitutional recognition of what mothers and fathers do for children in the home/family. Ideally, we need language that IS gender specific, i.e. that references both genders in the parenting context and specifies the important role of mothers and fathers at home.

One thing is sure. The stated intention to remove the words ‘woman’ and ’mother’ from the Constitution is fully in line with radical gender ideology – and we can see that also in recent legislation and in the NCCA school curriculum changes. For ‘gender’ activists there is no such thing as a ‘mother’, only a ‘birthing person’. Nor is there such a thing as ‘woman’ – our Government Ministers have shown that they cannot define what a woman is!

Unless ‘mothers’ and ‘fathers’ are specifically mentioned, this proposed change will do nothing to help families.

But it will break ground for the acceptance of gender spectrum in law, dehumanizing women in the process and undoing decades of progress.

As regards introducing a clause in support of carers, if the Government was truly concerned about constitutional support and recognition for ‘care’, I’d be all for it. Roderic O’Gorman, Leo Varadkar and Co. could easily devise an additional article, instead of trying to supplant ‘family life’ with the more general concept of ‘caring’.

I hope to return to the third ‘Gender’ referendum proposal in another post.

But NOW really is the time to tell all public representatives that we don’t need a wasteful, divisive and destructive ‘Gender’ referendum.

Will the Government bow to destructive ideology?

(Gender referendums – 3)

In my two previous posts on this subject, I have shown how the Government’s three proposed ‘Gender’ changes to the Constitution / Bunreacht na hEireann seem to reflect the ideas of a destructive ideological wing rather than concern for the welfare of children, older or vulnerable persons.

See my earlier commentary on the first of the Government’s three proposals, “To insert a gender equality and non-discrimination principle into Article 40.1.”, and also my follow-up post analyzing the proposal to “remove the ‘women in the home’ reference in Article 41.2 of the Constitution and to replace it with language that is not gender specific, and which provides recognition for care.”

Now for No 3: According to the Department of Equality, the third of three proposed referendum topics will seek “to amend Article 41 to protect family life, with the protection afforded to the family not limited to the marital family.”

This is some of  what the Bunreacht currently says about the family

Article 41.1.1

The State recognizes the family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.


Article 41.3.1

The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack. 

As with the first two parts, it seems like destructive ideology, rather than any apparent injustice, is what is behind the drive for change here. Yes, the Constitution proposes marriage as the ideal for the foundation of families (and who could disagree?). But legislation and court decisions (especially in recent years) have not done down non-marital family arrangements. They have simply (at the most) ensured that the family based on marriage wasn’t unfairly disadvantaged. Article 41.3.1 has not prevented the State from alleviating pressure on single parent families. Child benefit is paid out regardless of the marital status of the parents/guardians. And so on. It would be difficult these days, if not impossible, to find any situation where the ‘family based on marriage’ clause has an effect that most people regard as unjust.

But that is not good enough for the destructive ideologues. They want NO suggestion that marriage is a good idea or that it should provide any kind of ideal or aspiration for family life, despite heaps of evidence that being brought up by one’s parents in a long-term stable relationship is generally speaking a great advantage in life. For some of these ideologues, any informal relationship between any group of people for any period of time is as good as the natural understanding of family.

(Which leads to an obvious conclusion. Behind all the guff you hear about children’s rights and children’s welfare, some people have a different agenda. For the destructive ideologues, it’s really all about what the adults want. That unpleasant reality is written across many of the policy initiatives and non-initiatives of recent years: from abortion to the failure to enact curbs on pornography – even some of the proposed changes to the school curriculum.

Separating ‘family’ from ‘marriage’ will leave the idea of ‘family’ rudderless, allowing for any informal grouping of people, however temporary, to claim ‘family’ status. As happens with the abolition of the binary definition of ‘Gender’, the sky becomes the limit as to what grouping can claim or demand recognition and that is exactly why these radical, so-called ‘progressive’ forces want to spend your money changing the Constitution. They will stop at nothing to dismantle family life as our society has always encouraged it.  Do you agree? If you don’t buy this analysis, ask yourself this question: Why, with all the problems our country has at the moment, are they driving these changes?  Now is the time to let your public representatives know that we do not need divisive referendums driven by gender ideology.  Make it hot for them – in the nicest possible way, because if they don’t hear from you, it is easier for them, in these days of cancel culture and establishment bias, to look away.