Gay CoI minister: Focus on sex putting society off

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A gay Church of Ireland minister has said the church focusing on the issue of human sexuality “is putting society off”.

Rev Tom Gordon, the Dean of Leighlin in Co Carlow, was the first Anglican clergyman in Ireland to enter into a civil partnership.

The minister, originally from Portadown in Co Armagh, told Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence that the Republic of Ireland voting for same-sex marriage should show church leaders that their focus is wrong.

He added that the ‘yes’ vote “should come as no surprise to the churches whatsoever”.

“We need to be getting on to talk about other things,” he said.

“We need to be getting on to be talking about inequalities in society, of sort of more global issues.

“But we have in the Church of Ireland, and indeed in the Anglican communion, been almost exclusively focused in the public eye on this issue of human sexuality.”

Last month, the Republic of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum.

More than 62 per cent voted in favour of amending the country’s constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

At the time of the announcement on the vote, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said if the referendum was an affirmation of the views of young people, the church had a “huge task in front of it”.

“I think really the church needs to do a reality check,” he told RTE.

Ireland is the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote.