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A priest in Dublin made an unexepected announcement during a Saturday mass. After calling for equality in marriage for gay couples, Father Martin Dolan of the Church of St Nicholas of Myra in Francis Street came out as gay to the crowd. Dolan probably didn’t expect the overwhelming response from his parishioners as they gave him a standing ovation after he said, “I’m gay myself.” While the Achdioses in Ireland hasn’t commented, his parishioners told the Irish Sun that they are proud of him. “It was very brave. He said he was gay.

That was it…no bones about it,” one church-goer said. “He had the break all planned before all this came out in case people think he is running to the hills. He certainly is not…this break was planned. He was just doing his service, it was part of his homily, and that’s it. If he feels strongly about something, Martin just says it,” the source continued.  “He’s happy with himself. There is no fear of him running away, he wouldn’t be one of them people.”

Ireland is set to vote on a marriage referendum in May.