Parishioners walk out of mass after priest criticises footballer’s stance on gay marriage

Parishioners walk out of mass after priest criticises footballer’s stance on gay marriage
Donegal footballer Eamon McGee

A number of people walked out of mass in Annagry, Donegal after the priest spoke out against same sex marriage and criticised local inter-county footballer Eamon McGee for backing a Yes vote.

McGee, a corner-back who plays club football with neighbouring Gweedore, won the All-Ireland with Donegal in 2012 and is now taking an active role in the campaign for a Yes vote in the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum.

“If I ever have a child and he or she turns out to be gay, they could say to me ‘you had a chance to make a difference in that vote’,” McGee told the Irish Examiner last week. “I don’t know would I be more ashamed that I didn’t vote or the fact I voted against it. It comes down to equality and one less difference in society."

“It’s not that I have any friends who are gay or any close family members but it’s a social issue. The easiest thing would have been to put the head in the sand and let them fire away themselves.

“But that attitude hasn’t served us well before and the more I read up on it the more I found there’s a high level of ignorance in parts of society.”

Father John Britto criticised McGee’s recent comments on the issue at mass on Saturday night, saying the footballer was wrong to support the referendum.

The Donegal Daily spoke to a woman who attended the mass but wished to remain anonymous.

“A few people walked out; Father Britto was giving a very robust sermon on gay marriage and said McGee was wrong (to support the Yes campaign),” she said.

McGee claimed last week he had encountered some negativity towards his participation in the campaign, but said he hoped most people would come around to a Yes vote.

“There’s no point lying about it: there’s certain aspects of GAA folk that are traditionalists, have Catholic viewpoints and are old school,” he said. “They will view this with a bit of suspicion, this lifestyle. Maybe that’s 20-30% of them, 30% maximum. The majority of the GAA are coming on now to it.”

This follows the GAA’s decision at the weekend not to allow a referee wear a wristband in support of Gay Pride while officiating a match in Croke Park.

READ: Referee Gough 'dismayed and let down' at GAA's ban on wearing Gay Pride wristband

H/T: Donegal Daily

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