Irish clergy lobby for same-sex marriage

24 April 2015

PA

In the frame: partners Barry Bedford (left) and Erich Keller take a selfie in front of a new mural by the Irish artist, Joe Caslin, on the side of a building on South Great George's Street, Dublin, earlier this month 

In the frame: partners Barry Bedford (left) and Erich Keller take a selfie in front of a new mural by the Irish artist, Joe ...

CHURCH of Ireland clergy are using social media to garner support for a "Yes" vote in the forthcoming referendum on same-sex marriage.

In a letter to be sent to the Republic's three main daily papers, the organisers are calling for clergy to add their names to the campaign.

The letter states: "We are clergy of the Church of Ireland who realise that marriage is based on the values of love and commitment. This is the case for heterosexual and same-sex couples, whether the marriage involves children or not. We believe that . . . a 'Yes' vote will be a contribution to a fairer and more truly equal Ireland. For these reasons, and many more, we intend to vote 'Yes' in the forthcoming referendum on equal marriage."

The Church of Ireland officially, together with the Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian Churches, remains consistent in its view that marriage can only be interpreted as between a man and a woman.

The report on human sexuality commissioned by the General Synod will be received at the Synod next month.

Conservative groups, such as the Roman Catholic-led Iona Institute, have criticised the managing director of Twitter in Ireland, Stephen McIntyre, for saying that the company would support the "Yes" lobby because it supported same-sex marriage in the United States, and it would enhance Ireland's reputation.

A spokesman for the Iona Institute, Ben Conroy, said that corporations such as Twitter should avoid commenting on Irish politics.

Irish Muslim leaders are also opposing the "Yes" vote. Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre, in Dublin, said: "Gay people will be able to adopt children; these children will be brought up without either a father or a mother."

Muslim voters, he said, while respecting equality, should keep in mind the consequences for the family as a result of such a change.

The referendum takes place on 22 May.

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