Irish Times: Ireland is continuing to fail its gay teachers in the classroom

It is to be hoped that following their impassioned speeches in the Dáil last week about the cruel realities of life as gay men in Ireland that TDs Jerry Buttimer and John Lyons will hold their seats at the next election. What they said prompted the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, to say on RTÉ Radio 1’s This Week programme last Sunday that “the gay community in Ireland has suffered enormously. When I heard the debates in the Dáil . . . what do I say when I hear somebody spat at them? That’s a horrendous thing to happen to anybody.” [Continue Reading]

Irish Times: ‘There is a certain combat and indeed violence deeply embedded in theology’

There was a little of Lady Macbeth in the reaction of some in the Church of Ireland to Archbishop Michael Jackson’s recent observations on sectarianism in Dublin and Glendalough. It was just a mite too upset. You will recall how Lady Macbeth on being told of the murder of Duncan, King of Scotland, at her castle, an act in which she ably assisted, betrayed herself by asking: “What, in our house?” As if. Sectarianism among the decent, God-fearing Anglicans (polyester, genetic, whatever) of Dublin and Glendalough Whoever would suggest such a thing? [Continue Reading]

Irish Times: Ban on church youth work for gay man criticised

THE BANNING of an openly gay man from volunteering for work with youth groups at Methodist and Church of Ireland churches in Ballinamallard, Co Fermanagh, has been criticised by the Church of Ireland pro-gay Changing Attitude Ireland group. [Continue Reading]

Irish Times: Call to bring same-sex law in line with North

THE NEXT government should upgrade the Civil Partnership Act to bring it into line with same-sex legislation in Northern Ireland, the Church of Ireland Changing Attitude Ireland group has said. It describes itself as “a network of persons, gay and heterosexual, working for the full affirmation of gay and lesbian persons in the Church of Ireland and other Christian denominations”. In a statement that welcomed the introduction of civil partnership in the Republic on New Year’s Day, and “the broad range of benefits that same-sex couples will now be entitled to under the new law”, the group’s secretary, Canon Charles Kenny, pointed out that the Act was still “second class” when compared to the legal situation in Northern Ireland. [Continue Reading]

Irish Times: Partnership laws come into force

New laws allowing same-sex couples to register their civil partnership have received a mixed reception as they come into force. The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) described the Civil Partnership Act as a “new dawn” for gays and lesbians in Ireland, but another group condemned the Government’s failure to give full marriage rights to same-sex couples. LGBT Noise criticised the lack of parental rights for homosexuals and called on the Government to follow the example of other countries and “open up the choice of civil marriage to all citizens”. [Continue Reading]

Irish Times: Gay Christians thwarted by lack of acceptance, Belfast meeting is told

GAY CHRISTIANS who aspire to incorporate their sexuality with their spirituality have found “their efforts are often thwarted by the lack of acceptance within faith communities,” a public meeting in Belfast was told at the weekend. It was organised following a description of homosexuality as an abomination by DUP MP Iris Robinson. [Continue Reading]

Irish Times: Rite & Reason

“Listening process vital to bring gay, lesbian clergy in from margins

The Church of Ireland has long held within its ranks gay and lesbian clergy. It is time to welcome them, and gay and lesbian laity as well, writes Mervyn Kingston. [Continue Reading]