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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C

People of faith urged to "be brave" and vote Yes in same-sex marriage referendum

Faith in Marriage Equality includes Catholic and Church of Ireland members.

mequality / YouTube

A GROUP CALLING itself Faith in Marriage Equality has formed to express religious people’s support for same-sex marriage.

With the referendum on same-sex marriage due in May, Faith in Marriage Equality (FIME) says it wants to show that people of faith can also support the move. It also wants to add new voices to the debate about the referendum in Ireland.

Speaking to, Dr Richard O’Leary said they intend to challenge views put across by conservative Christian organisations like the Iona Institute.

He added that they want to show that “people with faith can understand that marriage is based on the values of love and commitment”.

Dr Ciarán O’Mathúna of Gay Catholic Voice Ireland said that he is calling for people of faith to come forward “and be brave” and vote yes in the referendum.


FIME said that the organisations who have endorsed their group include We Are Church Ireland, Gay Catholic Voice Ireland, and Changing Attitude Ireland.

Their charter states:

  • 1. We are all equal under God, whether we are heterosexual or gay. Faith leaders should not marginalise or exclude people who are gay rather they should promote equality and inclusion.
  • 2. People of faith understand 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.
  • 3. Faith institutions already distinguish between civil and religious marriage. While it is proper that faith leaders govern their members’ access to religious marriage, they should not seek to prevent access to civil marriage.
  • People of faith can exercise their freedom of conscience to vote yes to civil marriage in this referendum, as was done to permit civil divorce twenty years ago.

They are hoping that other groups and individuals will endorse their charter.

“We want to highlight that people in faith can vote yes in the referendum,” said O’Leary.

Asked if he feels that people of faith who support same-sex marriage haven’t had their voices heard nationally, he said: “We do.”

We think that because most media attention has been given to the conservative Christian groups, or Catholic bishops, the yes voice from people of faith, heterosexual and gay, has not been heard.

Dr O’Leary concluded: “Jesus was a champion of the oppressed and the minorities, and there are positive messages in our religious teachings which would argue for the full inclusion and social justice for gay persons and same-sex [relationships] in our society.”

Poll: Have you decided how you’ll vote in the same-sex marriage referendum?

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