And then there's this report from Chris Morley in another comment here yesterday about statements by two Irish priests that they're supporting marriage equality:
A priest in Co. Donegal, the NW corner of Ireland, has just publicly announced he is voting YES for marriage equality.
Another priest, a Redemptorist in Limerick city, Co. Limerick, also on the West coast, Fr. Adrian Egan, has also announced his intention to vote for equality.
It is expected that other priests will join them in the final two weeks of campaigning.
Father Brian Ó Fearraigh – who is based in Gweedore, Co. Donegal – told Highland Radio (first audio clip) that he believes the state should not discriminate against same-sex couples:
I understand that this referendum is purely a civil matter, and it is to do with civil marriage. I believe in my heart of hearts that the state cannot be seen to be discriminating against its citizens, and that when it comes to voting in this same-sex marriage referendum, I believe that in voting yes, the state will be recognising and cherishing all of its citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or who they are.
When it was pointed out his Bishop strongly disagrees, he said:
My conscience is extremely clear on this matter. Certainly within the Catholic church, the church has its teachings on the sacramentality of marriage – the church can’t be forced into changing that, but it’s a separate issue altogether.
The reality of same-sex marriage is a reality that in no way threatens me or offends me as an individual or a priest and ultimately as a citizen of this state.
Fr. Ó Fearraigh told the Journal that he had come under no pressure from his bishop. He talks more in this interview with the Journal.
Fr Adrian Egan CSsR, of the Redemptorists at Mount St Alphonsus in Limerick city, said in a letter to the Irish Times:
When two people, not bound by blood or kin, love each other to such a profound depth that they want to make a lifelong commitment of faithfulness to each other, then that deserves to be acknowledged, celebrated and solemnised. We are all the better for it – individuals, families, communities and society are life-enhanced – and God in his heaven rejoices. That’s why I will be voting Yes on May 22nd.
Broadsheet looks at a good site to watch for other priests announcing their intention to vote Yes. They republished Fr Egan's letter, in a series of posts they are cheekily calling 'Priests for Yes,' and almost all the comments were supportive. They separately reported Fr Ó Fearraigh's voting intentions.
Hat Tip to PinkNews whose brief report on Fr. Ó Fearraigh sent me off exploring for more.
The photo of a news stand was taken by Alajos Schuszler in Madison Square Park in Manhattan on 3 March 1934, and is in the New York City Parks Archives.