'I could not vote against because of my utter abomination of homophobia'

Published 12/05/2015 | 00:00

Bishop Michael Burrows.
Bishop Michael Burrows.

Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossary, Michael Burrows has come out in favour of a Yes vote in the forthcoming Marriage Equality Referendum.

Bishop Burrows said 'we should be very careful in suggesting that same sex marriage will somehow weaken the marriages of those who are of opposite sex. Having being married to one person of the opposite sex for well over a quarter of a century, I cannot see how the status and relationship we enjoy will be one whit altered or diminished by this proposal. Proposals to give recognition to so-called pre nuptial agreements would actually worry me much more as they would seem to undermine the permanent intentionality essential to any relationship purporting to be marital.

'I have long believed that the churches should take the trajectory of human rights law very seriously - all too often we have allowed ourselves to be left behind defending the essentially indefensible. The call for same sex marriage is a logical and timely development in the march of law reform and equality; this is not something which is being proposed because of the raucous demands of a few; rather it stems from a long tradition of using law to explore the implications of equality and fairness.

'I believe that the Spirit moves in the world which is already God's as well as in the churches; I believe that often the churches need to seek rather than to muzzle the voice of the Spirit which can use means that are not necessarily overtly religious to lead us into greater truth..

'I could not vote against this proposal because of my utter abomination of homophobia. The present proposal for same sex marriages implies simply that all couples, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to establish a common kinship, to form a family, to provide mutual security, to receive recognition and rights, to share property.

'I believe that a conscientious Christian citizen is not only entitled to support this proposal, but has every right to act as an advocate for it. We are privileged that we are allowed through the ballot box to have our individual say in such a matter, and that duty is to be taken very seriously - we are in the position to be (or not) the first European democracy to introduce same sex marriage by way of referendum. If we do so, it will not simply be because of some whim or fashion or improper pressure - it will be in the context of a long saga of law reform in pursuit of equality.'

Wexford People

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