First ever Catholic priest to enter civil partnership marries long-term partner

The first ever Catholic priest in the world to enter a civil partnership, has married his long-term partner.

Father Bernard Lynch married Billy Desmond on Friday at the Armada Hotel at Spanish Point in County Clare on Friday.

Around a hundred and twenty guests cheered as the couple was pronounced “husband and husband”.

The priest, who grew up in Ennis in the 1950s, was the first to enter a civil partnership when he did so in 2006.

The ceremony on Friday was accompanied by a booklet titled ‘Our Right to Love is our Right to Justice’.

Tributes were also paid to Father Lynch at the ceremony for being a “tireless advocate for the right of LGBT people for more than 30 years, as an out gay and proud Roman Catholic priest,” reports the Irish Times.

The priest, who came out as gay in 1986, he said: “If I did lie, if I did pretend, I’d have a job. I could even have a lover on the side . . . I didn’t come out publicly until 1986. As soon as I went public, I lost my job.”

Lynch last year took to the streets of London at the weekend to protest the closure of the Black Cap pub, and what he says in his speech should move you.

Father Bernard Lynch officiated at performer Reg Bundy’s (Regina Fong’s) funeral and knew the venue well.

He says the Black Cap was “the first gay pub in London I ever went to.”