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Catholic counseling group in Ireland offers services to same-sex couples
July 28, 2018
Catholic counseling group in Ireland offers services to same-sex couples

To maintain state funding, a Catholic marriage counseling group in the Republic of Ireland, Accord, will reportedly begin to counsel same-sex couples.

Earlier this year, the Irish government threatened to remove state funding from counseling services which did not accept same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage was legalized in Ireland in 2015.

Accord has now signed a new service agreement with the Irish government.

“Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG has assured Tusla they will provide counselling services regardless of sexual orientation and comply with the agreement,” said a spokeswomen for Ireland’s child and family agency, Tusla, according to the Times.

“Tusla will monitor service providers including Accord Dublin Catholic Marriage Care Service to ensure they comply with the terms of their service level agreement,” she said, noting that if the agreement is not followed through, funding may be withdrawn.

Accord receives the largest amount of public funding among counselling services in the Republic of Ireland.

Tusla is allocating more than 1.59 million euros ($1.86 million) for Accord's services. The agency has 55 counseling centers in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Accord also teaches relationship and sex education classes in schools, where it does not teach about contraception or same-sex relationships.

Founded in 1962 by the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, Acccord had offered its services only to opposite-sex couples.

The Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference failed to provide CNA with comment on the decision.