Why I'm voting No
By Paddy Manning
"The Government has tried to spin the referendum as a straightforward amendment but people are starting to see that it is much more than that. Their response has been to attack the 'No’ campaign, since they realise they can’t reassure the public on the legitimate concerns that have been raised.
"As a gay man, I believe this referendum is not about me or my right to love or make legal arrangements in my life. The Civil Partnership legislation introduced in 2010 already does that and gives gay couples the right to say 'I do’ and deals with property, kinship, pensions and social welfare issues.
"The difference between civil partnerships and this referendum is children. If we pass the referendum we will make it impossible to prefer a mum and dad over two men or two women when it comes to adoption.
"It would also put surrogacy at the heart of Family Law. No other country has voted for same-sex marriage in a referendum. Where it has been introduced, it was imposed by courts and politicians. It would be a grave mistake for us to be the only country where the electorate gave its backing to such a radical proposal.
"I’m asking people not to misplace their wonderful compassion and kindness. You can’t change or undo the past for how gay people were treated in this country by depriving children of rights now. This referendum isn’t about signals or being nice to gay people, it’s about protecting what the purpose of marriage has always been - encouraging mums and dads to stay together, where possible, to raise their children. I strongly urge people to have the courage to vote 'no’."