Iona Institute: We Don't Hate Gays -- They're Just 'Different'

Iona Institute: We Don't Hate Gays — They're Just 'Different'

David Quinn on his day off
Since 2007, a Catholic lobby group called the Iona Institute has been occasionally irritating every normal person on this island with calls for a return to the 'good old days' of ritual humiliation by men in dresses, and 'thought control' enforced by some guy in Rome with a golden throne (that's the Pope).

Their founder and patron saint is David Quinn, former editor of The Irish Catholic magazine. You may have read some of his medieval rantings in his Irish Independent column. These days, I have to turn the page rather quickly or risk an embolism.

Needless to say, he and they are not in favour of gay marriage. To let us know how abhorrent it is, they have produced a slick new YouTube advert and I have to admit, it's pretty good.

It's called: The Case for Man & Woman Marriage.

The graphics and music are exactly the kind of modern blend that you might see advertising some new online service like Dropbox or SoundHound. Where are they getting their funding, I wonder?

The two voiceover artists (a man and a woman, just the way God intended) sound young, confident, and friendly. They don't talk about 'mothers and fathers', they talk about 'mums and dads'.

In the ad they claim:

It's not discrimination to treat different situations in different ways. Only a man and a woman can make new life.

It's clear they define marriage as two people who want children — it's not enough to love each other and want to spend your lives together.

But what about married couples who can't have or don't want children? Anticipating this conundrum, the Iona Institute jumps in to address it squarely!

Of course, not all married couples have children but…

Ok, I'm following you. What's the rebuttal?

But every child ever born has a mum and a dad.

Right. I think I lost you there.

I thought they said marriage was limited to male/female partnerships precisely because they make children.

Let's just take it for granted that I am aware of the birds and the bees. All babies come from a man and a woman. We're in agreement there.

So if someone wonders why two people, if they can't or won't make babies, should be allowed to get married the Iona Institute's reply is: Every child has a mum and dad.

Maybe I'm very dense but that seems to be a glaring non sequitor. How does one answer the other? It doesn't, of course, but I suppose if it's said smugly in a faux-friendly tone, it simply passes by unnoticed.

And for the heart-warming climax of this silly symphony, we are treated to this little melody.

Kids have a right to what they long for: A loving mum and dad.

Ah, now I understand. Despite research that shows gay parents may be the best parents, the Iona Institute claims that those children to whom I've been introduced (who happen to have two fathers or two mothers) despite being terribly normal and possibly over-loved, secretly long to be in the Holy Catholic embrace of one of their church-approved heterosexual unions.

According to David Quinn, that is.

I am filled with such pleasure whenever I reflect that support for gay marriage in this country (currently about 70%) has been increasing at about the same rate that superstitious religiosity has been declining (down to 45%).

Quinn and his ilk are on the wrong side of history. In fact, they are history but they don't even know it yet.

Perhaps if they took a break from suing university magazines for criticising them, they might find a quiet moment to realise what utter berks they are. Some chance.

Watch their cloyingly chummy piece of propaganda. If you can stomach it. Oh go on, it's well worth it — if only to watch this wonderful parody afterwards.