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Church of Ireland won't be campaigning for same-sex marriage vote

The Church’s understanding of marriage remains that it is between a man and a woman.

Nicholas Nelson and Thomas Cahalan became the second male couple in Ireland to enter into a civil partnership in 2011.
Nicholas Nelson and Thomas Cahalan became the second male couple in Ireland to enter into a civil partnership in 2011.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE CHURCH OF Ireland won’t be campaigning for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote in the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum.

A spokesperson for the Church told TheJournal.ie it will be encouraging people “to vote according to their conscience”.

In 2012 the Church of Ireland General Synod passed a resolution affirming the Church’s understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The spokesperson said that this is “the basis on which the Church’s liturgy for marriage is used”.

He said the Church “also recognises that the State has a duty and responsibility to legislate for its citizens”.

“Members of the Church are encouraged to participate along with all other citizens in the democratic process when the State consults on matters, such as the civil definition of marriage.

The Church of Ireland draws the attention of its members to its own doctrinal position, but does not direct its members how to vote. The Church encourages people to vote according to their conscience.

Last month Changing Attitude Ireland – a Church of Ireland LGBT group – welcomed the publication of the wording of the Marriage Equality Referendum.

Dr Richard O’Leary, the organisation’s chair, said that marriage should be “available to couples without distinction as to their sex”, just as civil marriage “may be contracted by two persons without distinction as to their race or religion”.

Bible talks

During Lent, Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin will hold a series of talks on same-sex issues and the Bible.

The Cathedral’s Dean, Very Revd Dermot Dunne, will chair the discussions.

In 2013, the Church set up a select committee to look into issues surrounding sexuality.

Dunne said the course is “designed to help that discernment process through active dialogue with people from all walks of life both religious and non religious”.

More information on the talks is available here.

Cork Bishop backs same-sex civil marriage

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

Here’s the wording you’ll be voting on in same-sex marriage referendum

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Órla Ryan

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