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Bono backs 'Yes' vote as he says Church doesn't own marriage





Bono has become the latest high profile Irish celebrity to endorse a 'Yes' vote ahead of next week's same-sex marriage referendum.

The U2 frontman argued that 'No' campaigners in the Church don't have ownership of the institution of marriage.

"Think about it. Trying to co-opt the word 'marriage' is like trying to co-opt the word 'love'," he said, speaking ahead of the start of the band's Innocence + Experience world tour in Vancouver tonight.

"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," he said.

"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," he added.

Bono has been happily married to Ali Hewson (inset) since 1982.

"It is a hard thing to hold on to, and anything that brings that together is a totally wonderful thing.

"There was marriages before the Christian church. Indeed some of my favourite characters in the Bible had lots of marriages - at the same time. So, how did that work?" he said, laughing.

"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."

U2 will be playing in Phoenix, Arizona on May 22, the date of the marriage referendum.

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.


Questions have been asked as to whether he would be physically able to play a full, and gruelling, world tour after the horrific injury he sustained last November cycling in New York's Central Park.

Asked if he'd be up to it following his recovery from breaking his arm in six places and fracturing his eye socket, hand and shoulder blade, Bono said: "I don't know."