Marriage about love, not procreation says spokesman for gay community

‘What we are seeking is the right to civil marriage not church marriage’. Photograph: Getty Images

‘What we are seeking is the right to civil marriage not church marriage’. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Gay people in Ireland are not attempting to force the Catholic church or any church to marry lesbian or gay people, a spokesman has said.

“What we are seeking is the right to civil marriage not church marriage,” said Brian Sheehan, director of the Gay and Lesbian Network. “We are not talking about or seeking marriage the sacrament.”

He was responding to an address by the Catholic Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, opposing plans for a same-sex marriage referendum next spring. Bishop Doran warned the Government that legalising same-sex marriage would change the meaning of marriage itself. “The unique relationship between marriage and procreation would disappear completely from the definition of marriage should same sex marriage be allowed,” he said.

Mr Sheehan disagreed with such a definition. Marriage, he said, was “about two people who share a deep love making a profound commitment to each other to share their lives together. There is no requirement for any couple getting married to say they want or are going to have children. It is just seen as a profound commitment to another human being.”

Single parents

Accepting that civil partnership legislation helped protect the rights of lesbian and gay couples, he felt this still fell far short of the constitutional status allowed those in heterosexual marriages.

“All should be treated equally. Most parents want their children treated equally by the constitution,” he said.