Some people in the Catholic Church in Ireland may be homophobic, according to Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin
Speaking on RTE radio this afternoon, Dr Martin said that it is also possible that Catholic Church teachings could be used "in a homophobic way", which the Church should be careful not to do during debates on same sex marriage in the run up to the referendum.
"Debates on issues like this have to be carried out in a mature way so that people can freely express their views" while at the same time being respectful and not causing offence," he said.
"Anyone who grew up in Ireland would have told jokes that were pointed at the gay community, at Travellers. It is part of the culture we grew up in, but we have to grow out of it."
He reiterated Church beliefs that marriage is a union between a man and a woman only, but that same sex couples can form a union through other methods.
Since the first public civil partnership was celebrated in April 2011, more than 2,600 people become civil partners, up ntil the end of 2013.