Head of anti-gay Catholic group admits equal marriage ‘favourite to win’ in Irish referendum

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The founder of an anti-gay Catholic lobbying group has admitted that same-sex marriage is likely to pass an upcoming referendum in Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland is set to vote on May 22 on a proposal to introduce civil same-sex marriage.

David Quinn of the Catholic Iona Institute – which strongly opposes gay rights in the state – conceded that the campaign against equality was behind.

He told Newstalk: “The Yes side has a big lead… a very substantial lead. I don’t know how solid the lead is. They have all the political parties on their side.

“Every second celebrity seems to be on their side. They will spend a lot more money, most of academia is on their side.

“You would have to make them favourites to win, there’s no question about that.

“There is a chance that the no side will win if the argument can be put to people.”

He continued to question how Amnesty Ireland can support equality as a charity, saying: “Iona will not be campaigning as such, in the sense of posters and leafleting.  We’ll be doing none of that because we’re a charity and so far as I know we’re precluded.

“I know Amnesty Ireland is a charity, and they had an event yesterday calling for a Yes vote.

“I’ll obviously be doing radio and television, but the main campaign organisation with be Mothers and Fathers Matter. That’s a cross-denominational, non-denominational outfit.”

He claimed of same-sex marriage: “We’re not just redefining marriage, we’re redefining the family. We’re being offered two very distinctly definitions of the family.”