On the day of Ireland's equal marriage referendum, rock band U2 have issued a message in support of a 'yes' vote. The band, which includes committed Christian members Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jnr, posted a picture of a post-it note on Instagram, inscribed with the message "In the name of love... #voteyes". The phrase references their famous hit 'Pride (In the Name of Love)', the lyrics of which focus on the life and death of Jesus.
Voters across the Republic of Ireland, from where U2 hail, will vote in a same-sex marriage referendum today. A 'yes' vote will lead to a change in the Irish constitution to join the 19 existing nations which allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Homosexuality was only decriminalised in Ireland in 1993, while civil partnership status was granted to gay and lesbian couples in 2010. The vote comes hot on the heels of the verdict in the Ashers Bakery trial in Northern Ireland, where a Christian-run bakery was penalised for refusing to refusing to bake a cake with a pro gay marriage slogan.
Ahead of the vote, Bono spoke out in support of equal marriage, telling the Irish Times: "Marriage is now an idea that transcends religion... It is owned by the people. They can decide. It's not a religious institution."
Martin Saunders is a Contributing Editor for Christian Today. You can follow him on Twitter: @martinsaunders