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This Donegal priest will be voting Yes in the same-sex marriage referendum

Fr Brian O Fearraigh has said he views the referendum as a civil matter.

Image: Highland Radio via Facebook

A PRIEST FROM Donegal has said that he intends to vote Yes in the upcoming marriage equality referendum.

Fr Brian O Fearraigh, from Gweedore, has said that he views the matter as a civil issue, and not one that impacts on his role within the church, and has taken his decision on those grounds.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Fr O Fearraigh, said, “I informed myself on that and made up my mind and made the decision that I am going to vote Yes and that is based on the fact I feel it is solely a civil issue, a civil matter, and I’ll be voting on it as a civil matter.”

It is to do with society and it is to do with the State treating all of its citizens equally. I suppose it is based on that.

Church pressure

On whether he had been pressured by the Church, he said, “to be honest I have to say no.”

“I spoke to my Bishop earlier on this morning, we spoke about it, we debated the issue and I listened to him and he listened to my point of view and it was a cordial exchange we had and he said that it is certainly not the teaching of the Bishop, the view I was taking, and I accept that. He has made it clear what his teaching is and how he stands on it.” he said.

Despite having a different view from the Church, Fr O Fearraigh did say, that there had been “no pressure” to take any particular viewpoint.

He also said that he had recently attended a meeting on the marriage equality referendum in his parish that he described as “food for thought”. 

‘It is a reality that in no way offends or threatens me’

“I left and thought this is about equality, and who am I to vote against any couple who wants to solidify their love, and to have their love for one another recognised by the state, who am I to vote against that?,” he said.

As I said earlier on today, that’s the reality of same-sex marriage, and it is a reality that in no way offends or threatens me.

He concluded by saying:

In my considered opinion, and this is my own opinion, in my heart of hearts that come the 22nd of May that Brian O Fearraigh, who is a Catholic priest, who is an individual, and who is a citizen of this State, will cast my vote based on what I believe in my heart to be true, and according to my conscience, and I will be voting Yes.

Read: The family in the No poster say they would vote Yes in same-sex marriage referendum

Also: Man who says the internet “shut down his business” after cake-topper row calls for No vote

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