Belfast Telegraph

Presbyterians in Dublin hold protest over sacking of gay elder

The protest outside the Presbytery meeting in Dublin
The protest outside the Presbytery meeting in Dublin
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Presbyterians in Dublin protested outside a church meeting last night over a decision to sack an elder for being in a same-sex marriage.

Around 40 church members attending the Presbytery meeting near Parnell Street were told why Steven Smyrl (53) lost his senior position of 12 years as an elder at Christ Church in Dublin's Sandymount area.

Protesters outside displayed banners reading: "PCI: Stop bashing gays!"

Mr Smyrl said the protest outside received a mixed response from those walking into the meeting. He added: "We want others to realise not everyone agrees with what the Presbyterian top brass are now pushing as their policy. Some don't agree with marriage equality but still object to the rude way in which I was treated."

The Presbyterian Church previously denied accusations of bullying and defended its decision, saying it was in line with its position that same-sex marriage is not compatible with being a church elder.

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