Monday 27 February 2017

'Marriage isn't owned by religion' - Bono endorses 'Yes' vote ahead of marriage referendum

Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Bono and Ali Hewson
Bono and Ali Hewson

Bono has become the latest high profile Irish celebrity to endorse a 'Yes' vote ahead of next week's Marriage Equality referendum.

Speaking 24 hours before the start of U2’s Innocence + Experience world tour in Vancouver he said: “Think about it, trying to co-opt the word ‘marriage’ is like trying to co-opt the word 'love'."

“You can’t own it. Marriage is now an idea that transcends religion. It is owned by the people. They can decide. It is not a religious institution.”

“As far as I know, Jesus wasn’t a married man and neither are most priests talking about it. It is not a religious idea.”

"In my mind, commitment is one of the most impossibly great human traits.”

Bono has been happily married to Ali Hewson since August 21st 1982.

“It is a hard thing to hold on to, and anything that brings that together is a totally wonderful thing. “ He added that the Church don’t have ownership of marriage in Ireland.

“There was marriages before the Christian church. And indeed some of my favourite characters in the Bible had lots of marriages – at the same time. So, how did that work?” he laughed.

“It is a wonderful thing. If you believe, it is just a man and a woman – great, live it! But you have to know that more than 50pc of the population can’t. So anyone who can is defying the odds already. So here is what I have to say about it: wherever marriage occurs, it should be encouraged.”

He also spoke about the song  Iris (Hold Me Close) – from U2’s current album Songs Of Innocence - which  deals with the death of Bono’s mother Iris when he was 14 .

“That’s the moment I became an artist. If I hadn’t become an artist, I don’t know how I would have turned out.”

“I filled the hole in so many ways. In my case I was fortunate to fill it with faith, to fill it with Alison, to fill it with Guggi, Gavin,. I filled it with Larry, Edge, Adam. It is a different way of looking at a wound, isn’t it? It is not just a hole in your heart. It is also a hole you can fill with so many wonderful things.”

He said his mother's death left him with a huge amount of rage.

“It was rage. I still have the rage, but I have worked it through. But in my teenage years it was just rage. Rage in friendship. Rage in music. Rage in Ali. But now I’m dealing with that rage.”

Dealing with his injuries is another matter.

Questions have been asked as to whether he would be physically able to play a full, and grueling,  world tour after the horrific  injury he sustained last November cycling in New York's Central Park (breaking his arm in six places and fractured his eye socket, hand and shoulder blade), Bono said: “I don’t know.”

Bono also confirmed that the band are seriously looking at playing shows this year in Dublin, but it will most probably not be the Innocence + Experience show as the staging is too large for the 3Arena in Dublin.

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