Bastards, gays and respectable people…

well worth a read

Feck sake...

I am not – by any stretch of the imagination – a regular blogger, but there are times when you simply have to speak up, and this is one of them. The following is written in a personal capacity.

The bastard, like the prostitute, thief, and beggar, belongs to that motley crowd of disreputable social types which society has generally resented, always endured. He is a living symbol of social irregularity, an undeniable evidence of contramoral forces; in short, a problem – a problem as old and unsolved as human existence itself.

Davis, K. (1939) ‘Illegitimacy and the Social Structure’.

American Journal of Sociology, 45(2): 215-233.

I have always thought of bastards (and I will explain my use of the term below) and lesbians/gay men as compatible brethren. Both have been despised and considered a ‘problem’ (often by the same groups of people), both are misunderstood, both experience discrimination and…

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Gay Marriage, Is Breda O’Brien really threatened ?????


Breda O’Brien writing in the Catholic Herald says…..that one of the main reasons that gay people want marriage rights is so that they can be registered as parents of children, either by adopting a partner’s children or by commissioning children through surrogacy, and/or egg or sperm donation.

No gay couple can bring children into their relationship without the assistance of at least one person of the opposite gender. This fundamental difference, with all the profound implications for children of being raised either without their mother, or their father, is supposed to be politely ignored so that adults can receive their ‘rights.’

This is an interesting if entirely flawed logic, the adoption/surrogacy/assisted reproduction industry has been providing children to straight, married couples since the inception of early adoption, gay people marrying will make no fundamental change to that position. 
If Breda O’Brien was genuine about her care for the “implications for children” she would fight a completely different battle, she would challenge policies that keep people in poverty and lead vulnerable families into being coerced into adoption to “save their children”. She would fight for funds used to procure children from poorer countries to be used to keep babies with their mothers, she would fight to expose the practice of secret gamete donation so all children had full knowledge of their genetic heritage, she would recognise that society accepting that two gay people can love in the very same way as others is a good thing, that two gay people wanting to make a commitment to each other is a good thing, she would embrace the notion of tolerance and acceptance and she would be honest about why she is against gay marriage.
This is a much broader debate than two men or two women wanting to share their lives this is about one conservative section of society wanting to control another section of society.
It is disingenuous beyond belief to colour it any other way, Bread O’Brien and her ilk need to be honest and call it as it is. They are unable to accept anything that doesn’t fit their narrow perspective.
Gay or straight people, married or not married, causes me no threat, I am married and I rejoice in that, my only concern is how we as a civilised society commodify the surrogacy, adoption, assisted reproduction industry. I am concerned that we continue to have secret practices around the purchasing of children, I am concerned that we still have sealed records of adoption in Ireland, I am concerned that we have groups of people actively sourcing children worldwide, I am concerned that Indian obstetricians are making millions off the backs of extremely vulnerable fellow countrywoman, I am concerned that we haven’t learnt from the mistakes of the past and I am concerned that Breda O’Brien and her ilk will camouflage their arguments and dress it up as something else. This is not about the danger to my marriage or yours, this is not about the dangers to children, adoption, surrogacy etc, this is plain and simple anti-gay rhetoric.

Adrian McKenna is a frontline Social Care Professional; he has worked and Managed for many years with young people and adults in residential care, detention services, mental health services, homeless services and post-adoption services. He currently works with a large Dublin-based charity. He is a Committee Member of The Irish Association of Social Care Workers, A Member of Social Justice Ireland and was on the National Committee of the YES Campaign for Children.

All views expressed are entirely my own unless otherwise stated and are not representative of any organisation or employer past , present or future.

This Ability


Crip, Spastic, Nutjob, Handicapper,these were once words that were spoken freely and now in 2014 they have fallen out of use why? October 2007 and a diverse group of people sit in a room sizing up one another, tall, small, fat, thin, black, white, male and female, And  What brought this eclectic group together to do a diploma in disability studies?

 It was an article in a shop window that lead to a meeting in the Arklow Bay Hotel in County Wicklow Ireland which led to the starting of our course. Our reasons for doing the course were varied, some people felt they needed the Diploma in Disability studies  to further their career and some wanted to improve their knowledge about the area of disability. Some people on the course experience disability in their daily lives, which brought a reality to the content and quality of the course.Knowledge is empowing and the course was an eye-opener to anyone who had no experience of disability.

 It allowed us to asses the Impact of attitudes on the rights of people who experience disability. People who experience disability are unseen by society and unknown due to the barriers created by society and their attitudes.

Society is a causal factor in disability ? If a person in a wheelchair cannot get up a flight of stairs is the wheelchair the problem? Or the fact that their legs dont work , or is it simply that someone didn’t build a ramp! Have you ever tried to get money from an ATM with your eyes closed? Blind people do on a daily basis.

At long last an inclusive debate is happening, instead of in isolation, but now, through education where everyone has an equal voice and maybe the challenge to us all is to ask  how do we as individuals disable others in society?