Daily Archives: March 23, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Debate


This article jogged me into writing this post.

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, said at an Iona Institute talk in Dublin last week, that:

“The Catholic bishops did not support the referendum and called on people to reflect on the implications for marriage of it being passed”.

What implications?

I thought the whole idea of the vote in May was to allow gay and lesbian people to openly marry someone of their own orientation.

I am Heterosexual, it is the way I was created and if I decided to marry again, tomorrow or in June, The outcome of a YES vote would not prevent me doing so.

The YES vote will not prevent young heterosexual couples from entering marriage with the person of their choice, and have families.

If gay and lesbian couples wish to celebrate and solemnise their relationship through marriage, then they should be allowed to do so.

Oh!…. They might want to adopt a child or have one with the aid of IVF and a donor?

There are many heterosexual couples who find they are unable to conceive and they are allowed to go down that road, and they are helped and praised for doing so. Not letting a same sex couple go down that route is even more discrimination.

When I was preparing for marriage back in 1977, I had different problems. My choice of soul-mate, was a widower, old enough to be my father, of a different faith and English!

My wedding was to take place in the RC Church, into which I was baptised, when I was three days old. I went to see the local priest. I wanted to make arrangements and arrange for my uncle, a Jesuit to officiate.

Being a ‘Mixed Marriage’, I would need permission from the bishop!

“There should be no bother in getting permission.” Said the priest. “Your future husband is a widower, and it is not good for a man to be alone!” Adding “I’ll have no problem sorting that out with the bishop.”

Not a mention of his age, religion or the fact he was English. Others found them more of a problem.

I returned a week later and learned The bishop had given the go ahead….. Talk about fast tracking for a lonely man without his comforts!!!! My uncle was also allowed to officiate.

I was asked to bring Jack to the next meeting. I did. But the priest from the parish spent 90 minutes talking about his new position in the parish. He was the ‘Go To Priest’ if seeking an annulment. NINETY MINUTES about how to go about an annulment and not a word about us or our wedding.

I was livid when we came out from that meeting. In fact I was ashamed of the RC Church.

Jack trying to lighten the mood said “Well if it does not work out, I know who will get me an annulment!” His wink, squeeze and hug soon brought me back to normal.

My Uncle was horrified for us. He said to leave it to him. In the next parish, the Parish Priest was actually a Bishop. My Uncle knew him well, and promised to have a chat with him. One conversation was all it took to sort everything out and my Uncle wrote and invited Jack’s minister to bring his robes on the day of the wedding and take part in the ceremony.

One phonecall!

Genuine care was all it took and genuine care for our LGBT friends and neighbours is what we need now.

If I had a vote in the South of Ireland’s Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Debate, in May, it would be…..