Referendum Commissioner ‘appears contradictory’

Staff reporter

The legal advisor to the ‘no’ campaign group Mothers and Fathers Matter has said the referendum commissioner “seems to be contradicting himself” in his comments on adoption and surrogacy.

Last week, Judge Kevin Cross conceded that were the marriage referendum to pass, it would be difficult to pass a law preferring opposite-sex married couples over same-sex married couples when regulating surrogacy, adoption, or artificial human reproduction. Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, however, he said the marriage referendum was unrelated to these issues.

Dr Finegan also challenged how the commissioner “didn’t directly answer the question he was asked” when quizzed on whether – if the referendum passes – the courts could require that a male same-sex couple have a constitutional right of access to surrogacy services, instead saying that the courts had never established any right for a married couple to access fertility services in order to procreate.

The commissioner could also “be a bit more nuanced” in distinguishing between statutory and case law, Dr Finegan added.