Mass goers at Dublin’s Pro Cathedral on Sunday proved a modest lot when stopped at random to discuss next Friday’s same sex referendum. Not many had reservations about saying how they would vote, whether Yes or No, but few would give their names and fewer were prepared to be photographed.
Marie Ó Faoláin from Killester is voting No “for the sake of the family and the children. For family life. I have lovely gay friends, really nice people. They have civil partnership. I really think [it takes] a man and woman to found a family. I mean that’s what it’s all about. The State, at least our Constitution, has promised to protect the family, that’s why I’m voting No, absolutely.”
Declan O’Neill from Phibsborough is voting Yes as “it’s time for a bit of a change, I think, and I have friends who are gay and all that sort of thing. It’s, in a sense, a support to them.”
Margaret D’Arcy from Glasnevin said: “I haven’t made up my mind.”
Thomas Curtis from Edenmore is voting No: "because I think it's against everything. Say there's two men and they get a baby, who's going to breast feed it? There's loads of things. I've given it a lot of thought."
Niall Fitzgerald from Whitehall is also voting No as "same sex attraction and acts are evil and sexual abuse. But the good news in today's gospel is that people can be freed from that and forgiven. Be loved."
Matthew Merrigan from Cabra is voting Yes as "it's just that civil partnerships can be abolished through legislation and I just want to make sure they are covered by the Constitution. That's the main reason I'm voting Yes."
Mary from Longford didn’t wish to give her surname and, when asked how she intended to vote, responded “...do you want to get me killed?”. She said: “I think I’ll vote Yes, for a few reasons. Some friends of the family that are…, and I’ve said I’ll go their way because I think, in a way, it’s only fair that everyone gets a chance in life to do whatever their will tells them. That’s what I think, not being nasty or anything … I have some friends that are very interested in it.”
Triona and Gemma King, identical twins from Drumcondra, are consecrated virgins at the Pro Cathedral and are voting No. Triona said: "I believe in the dignity of every person but the sacrament of marriage was instituted by Christ and is conferred by a man on a woman and a woman on a man.
"The fourth commandment says honour your father and your mother and the Book of Genesis says God created them male and female."
Gemma said: “I respect people as individuals but in the marriage ceremony the couple marry each other, which is recognised by the Church as providing stability in a loving relationship through which children are generated and educated. I’ve nothing against same sex people. They have civil partnership, but marriage is between a man and a woman.”