Traditional definition of marriage prevails with local churches

Rev Ivan Foster pictured in Co Fermanagh

Rev Ivan Foster pictured in Co Fermanagh

A LOCAL church leader has said he was saddened by the outcome of the South’s referendum after the landslide yes vote in support of legalising gay marriage.

Over 62 per cent were in favour of changing the Republic’s constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.


However, local church ministers voiced their opposition to same-sex marriage saying that only a “small amount of countries” have legalised gay and lesbian couple to marry.

The historic vote means that the North is the only region in the UK and Ireland not to legalise same-sex marriage.

Rev Sam McGuffin, from the Methodist Church, said he was left disappointed by Saturday’s result.

He told the Fermanagh Herald: “I was rather saddened by it to be honest. Christian marriage is between a man and a woman and that’s what I believe, that’s what I believe the scripture teaches, that is what the church is taught and that’s where I stand.

“I think there will be pressure in Northern Ireland but I think in the past few years the Assembly has voted against it so I don’t see that changing.”

He said he didn’t believe there would be a shift in local peoples’ attitudes following the marriage referendum adding: “People have their views about these things and the world wide picture is not as in favour as people try to make out with the local countries saying that “we know best”. It’s only a small proportion of the overall countries in the world that have sanctioned same-sex marriages.”

When asked if Stormont decided to hold a referendum, would he support this decision, he said: “No, not necessarily. We elect people to serve us and to represent us and they do that and I’m quite happy with that. And I think the local politicians should make that decision on same-sex marriage.”


Revd Kenny Hall, Dean of Clogher in the Church of Ireland told the Fermanagh Herald: “The Church of Ireland maintains the historic definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

“In St Macartin’s Cathedral we are aware of the gift of difference and the diverse range of opinions within our community. We seek to ensure that the cathedral is an inclusive place for all irrespective of orientation or opinion.”

A retired former minister of the Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church accused the South of “defying God and embracing sodomy” after they extended civil marriage rights to same sex couples.

He went on to accuse what he called ‘Romanism’ (Roman Catholic) as a “false religion” and a “curse” with its “dark shadow” on the people of Ireland.

He added: “But Ireland has not only had to bear the burden of false doctrine instigated by Rome, but the Irish people have been plagued by the licentious vileness of her ‘bachelor’ priests, many of whom used their position to molest and violate hundreds of children within this generation and countless multitudes in the centuries of her past dominance.

“In reaction to that and as a direct result of it, the majority in the Irish Republic have supported the legalising of sodomite marriage.”

No one from St Michael’s Church or the Presbyterian Church were available for comment.

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA