COI for constitutional change to protect same sex relationships

The Church of Ireland has said the Irish constitution should broaden the definition of family and recognise same-sex unions and cohabitating couples.

Sam Harper, honorary secretary of the General Synod, said the definition of the family had changed. The family protected at present by the Constitution was the family based on marriage, and he encouraged the adoption of the UN definition of the family, which was much wider.

“We feel strongly that there should be State care for all those in mutual relationships. We believe in the balance of rights for the unit,” said Sam Harper, honorary secretary of the General Synod.

However, he said they did not recognise marriage for gay couples.”While we favour the inclusion of gay couples in the broad definition, it could not in our view be considered a marriage, and we would not want the review to go beyond the point where it makes it a disadvantage to be married,” he said.

The Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church both don’t want any change to Article 41 until all legislative options have been exhausted while the Reformed Presbyterians urged for the retention of the current article, stating a family should be defined as compromising a man and woman in a legally binding agreement of marriage.

Is this further evidence of the Church of Ireland’s attitudes being closer to the general view of today’s Irish public than the Roman Catholic Church or a further diluting of traditional Christian views?

Are these views consistent with the views of members of the Church of Ireland north of the border?
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