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Meet the Catholic priest preparing to defy his church and vote for gay marriage in Ireland

Meet the Catholic priest preparing to defy his church and vote for gay marriage in Ireland

An Augustinian Catholic priest has gone public with his intention of voting for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ireland in May, saying his personal religious views on marriage should not be imposed onto other people in society who believed differently.

Fr Iggy O’Donovan told The Irish Independent this week that he was an ‘an absolute believer in Catholic teaching on marriage.’

‘[But I also] accept that there are people with different but deeply held views to me and I respect their views and I don’t think I have the right to impose my views on them.’

As a result he said he would ‘unquestioningly be voting yes’ in the referendum on same-sex marriage in Ireland.

Fr O’Donovan told The Irish Independent that years of pastoral work with young gay Catholics had also been influential in his decision on how to vote.

Fr O’Donovan made the comments while addressing recent controversial comments by Irish Bishop Kevin Doran on homosexuality.

‘I would be very slow to bring a crowd onto a field where we ourselves are vulnerable,’ Fr O’Donovan said, suggesting much more tact from the church was needed on such issues.

‘In view of our recent history, our street credibility in these areas is not very high – so it is an area we need to be extra-sensitive around and Bishop Doran must know that.’