Church of Ireland group has come out in support of a ‘yes’ vote

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The Changing Attitude Ireland group has said marriage should be available to couples, “without distinction as to their sex”.

 

Image: Flickr/Neal1960

A CHURCH OF Ireland group has come out in support of a ‘yes’ vote in the forthcoming same-sex marriage referendum.

The Changing Attitude Ireland group has also welcomed the publication of the wording that the referendum will take.

In a statement today, chair of the group, Dr Richard O’Leary, said:

Just as civil marriage may be contracted by two persons without distinction as to their race or religion, it should also be available to couples without distinction as to their sex.

This comes after an Irish Catholic group has expressed its “unanimous support” for a Yes vote in the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum.

We Are Church Ireland says that “loving, committed relationships between two consenting adults should be treated equally by the Irish State, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.”

The group does not speak on behalf of the Catholic Church but is instead part of an international movement that works to promote a liberalisation of Church doctrine.

We Are Church Ireland adds that the issues of adoption and surrogacy are “not part of this referendum” and should not form part of the debate.

They point out that the Constitution does not define marriage as between a man and a woman, adding that it has been a “rapidly evolving institution”.

“The proposed referendum will not redefine marriage but rather refine it to make it more inclusive and so enhance the meaning of marriage,” according to spokesperson Brendan Butler.

We Are Church Ireland say that, while civil partnerships were a “significant step forward”, “there are important inequalities still remaining”.

Church campaigning  

The Catholic Church proper has remained relatively silent on the referendum, with a statement from Irish Catholic Bishops titled The Meaning of Marriage their primary contribution.

Some have questioned their commitment to the debate with an article in the Irish Catholic outlining what it says are shortages in the delivery of the leaflets.

The article estimates that only 10% of Irish Catholics will have access to the leaflet and questions the commitment of church leaders to engaging with the issue.

The Journal; 21 January 2015