The Archbishop of Dublin has said if you hate gay people, then you hate God.
Diarmuid Martin has reacted to two huge stories in the past month in Ireland; the controversy over drag queen Panti Bliss' comments on television and a politiican who revealed he was spat at and harrassed because of his sexuality.
'God never created anybody that he doesn't love,' the senior cleric said. 'Anybody who doesn't show love towards gay and lesbian people is insulting God.
'They are not just homophobic if they do that – they are actually Godophobic because God loves every one of those people'.
As reported by The Irish Independent, he added: 'Certainly the sort of actions that we heard of this week of people being spat at because they were gay or ridiculed . . . that is not a Christian attitude. We have to have the courage to stand up and say that.'
Concerns have been raised that, after RTÉ paid out a huge amount of money to a Catholic group after Bliss called them homophobic, free speech could be stifled in the upcoming fight for same-sex marriage.
'Just because a person isn't in favour of gay marriage doesn't mean that one is homophobic – let's be very clear on that,' Martin said.
‘We have to learn a new way in Ireland to live with our differences and for all of us to live with respect for one another. We all belong to one another and there is no way we can build up a society in which people are excluded or insulted,’ he said.