Bishop Doran's view on gay couples with children..

Catholic bishop Kevin Doran claims gay couples with children ‘are not parents’

Bishop also said women who become pregnant through rape should not ‘destroy a life in order to get back at the rapist’

Catholic Bishop, Kevin Doran, has been strongly criticised for claimed gay couples with children ‘are not parents’ and that women who become pregnant through rape should not have an abortion just ‘to get back at’ their attacker.

A referendum on legalising same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland  will take place on 22 May

A referendum on legalising same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland will take place on 22 May

The Bishop of Elphin made a series of controversial comments as he discussed the same-sex adoption bill being debated in Irish Parliament ahead of the forthcoming referendum on legalising same-sex marriage, which will take place on 22 May.

The bishop also said he believes “the jury’s out” on whether people are born gay.

In the wide-ranging interview with NewsTalk Breakfast Radio he discussed abortion, homosexuality and same-sex adoption.

Bishop Doran was asked by the host whether a woman who is raped and becomes pregnant as a result should have to bear the child. “Well, the child is still a human being”, he responded. “That’s the issue – you don’t destroy a life in order to get back at the mother’s rapist.

“Women themselves vary in their view of this. I had the experience many years ago of talking to a woman who had been raped and had become pregnant – and she called me one evening and said the baby died in the womb.

“I kind of said ‘I thought you perhaps maybe you would have been somewhat relieved’ – and she said ‘No, you don’t understand – the only good thing I had was that child.’”

In comments that are likely to infuriate gay rights groups, he went on to say that lesbian and gay couples who have children are care-givers – but not parents. “They may have children – but that’s the point – people who have children are not necessarily parents,” he said.

“This legislation that the government is introducing – the Children and Family Relationships Bill – seems primarily focused about making it possible for people in various different relationships to have children. It’s not about ensuring that children have their parents.”

However, Bishop Doran added: “The point is that all people are equal both in eyes of God and in eyes of the State, there is no question about that – when people come in to Mass on Sunday their sexual orientation is not relevant.

“This is not about saying that people who are gay are not able to love, but it’s about saying that children need a mother and a father.”

When asked if he believed being born gay was something God intended, he replied: “That would be to suggest that if some people are born with Down’s syndrome or Spina Bifida, that that was what God intended either.”

His host responded by reminding him that sexual orientation is not a disability, to which Bishop Doran replied: “Well I’m not entering into that, I’m just simply saying that it would be wrong to suggest that everything that happens, happens because God intended it, I mean if that were the case, we’d be kind of talking about a very different kind of god to the God that Christianity believes in.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Bishop Doran said: “I believe that every person is willed by God and loved by God. I simply don’t believe that God micromanages the universe in such detail. I regret any hurt that may have been caused either by what I actually said or by how it was presented by others.”

“I referred in the interview to the way in which the Children and Family Relationships Bill sets out to broaden the legal definition of parents (and systematically removes the words “mother” and “father” from previous legislation. In that context I commented that people who have children are not necessarily parents.”


Gaybies: True stories of growing up with gay parents

Will this play reach the UK; will it reach Northern Ireland. We can but hope, and failing that hope that it gets broadcast and that we can watch it that way

 Running as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, theatrical production Gaybies draws on real interviews with the children of LGBTI parents

Dean Bryant (centre) and the cast of his show, Gaybies

At a time when some territories in Australia continue to deny gay couples the right to adopt and foster children, a new play coming to Sydney next week is set to shine an illuminating light on the issue of LGBTI parenthood.

Gaybies will be coming to the Eternity Playhouse in Sydney as part of the 2015 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Written by Helpmann Award-winning director Dean Bryant, the show seeks to tell the stories of children raised in rainbow families. Bryant created the script by drawing upon real-life interviews with people who have grown up with same-sex parents, surrogate moms and donor dads.


‘Gaybies is the perfect answer to anyone who has ever asked, “But what about the children?”,’ says Bryant in press material for the show. ‘It’s sincere, touching, hilarious and heart-breaking.

‘It requires a highly talented bunch of actors to do these characters justice and I’m thrilled to have assembled a dream cast which, in a wonderful twist, includes one of the original interviewees.’

That cast member is Georgia Scott, who spoke to Bryant about her experience of her own father coming out.

‘There is always a lot of hype around what people assume or what people can philosophize is going to be the effects of gay parenting on children,’ said Scott about the show.

‘This is a genuine look at how these people have lived and what their experience has been. And you know, it is not sugar coated and it’s not all great.’

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, fellow cast member Cooper George Amai said: ‘The children interviewed for the play didn’t feel like they had missed out — more that they had an extra mum or dad.

‘Often people raised by single sex parents seem to be more rounded, more balanced, more aware.’

Although he wasn’t raised by gay parents, Amai said that he could relate to some of the thoughts and feelings expressed in the piece as he was raised by his mother and her two sisters, adding, laughing, ‘It sometimes felt like I had three mums.’

Dean Bryant

Speaking to GSN, Bryant [right], who is gay himself, explained what drew him to the subject matter.

‘I went to the 60th birthday party of a friend of mine and his two daughters gave hilarious speeches about growing up with a gay dad – watching Melrose Place as their family show, going on Mardi Gras floats – and I thought there’s some wonderful comic material here.

‘I also was keen to explore the gay marriage debate from the perspective of children of gay parents – to use their actual words to weave together their experience of growing up in this environment.’

Bryant has been with his partner for the past 18 years. Is fatherhood something that he would himself consider?

‘We love our nieces and nephews, but can’t afford to have children via surrogacy, living as we do on arts wages. If I was asked to father a child for a close friend, I’d definitely consider it.’

Gaybies was first staged as a reading at Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival in 2013, but this production marks its Sydney premiere. Catch it running between 6 February and 8 March 2015 at the Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst.

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