The Dublin Gay Men's Chorus (DGMC) is "deeply disappointed" after St. Andrew's Church in Dublin canceled its booking for a concert that was due to be held on June 23.

Patrick McNamara, the chairperson of Dublin Gay Men's Chorus, said in a statement on Thursday, June 13 that the chorus is "deeply disappointed" by the church's decision to cancel the concert booking.

"It is particularly disappointing as the church has described the event as being incompatible with their mission," McNamara said.

"DGMC has a history of staging positive, inclusive concerts of an exceptional standard, and we were looking forward to welcoming the audience to St. Andrew's Church for our summer concert titled 'Pride in the Name of Love,' so-called after the U2 song of the same name."

McNamara separately told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne that the chorus hosts its annual summer concert in different locations around Dublin each year, "and happens to be this year built into St. Andrew's Church in Westland Row."

He added that the group booked St. Andrew's Church, which was advertised as a concert venue, in April. He also said the choir's name was provided to the church at the time of booking.

McNamara said St. Andrew's Church confirmed the booking by email, but the church sent another email last Tuesday to inform the chorus that its booking was being canceled.

St. Andrew's Church said in a statement released to the Irish Times and the Irish Catholic on Thursday: "St. Andrew's Parish is happy to welcome groups from all backgrounds to perform concerts in the church.

"However, the parish is disappointed that the nature of this event was not made clear at the time of booking.

"We have learned that in form and content it is being presented not as a simple choral recital but as a Pride Festival event in a context which is not compatible with our mission as a Roman Catholic Parish Church.

"In the circumstances, the parish is unable to facilitate the performance on June 23."

In his statement on Thursday, McNamara continued: "This decision is deeply hurtful, particularly considering Pope Francis' recent use of a homophobic slur against the gay community.

"June is Pride month across the world and the celebration of having pride in one's self and community should be permitted.

"While we made it clear this event is not associated with the official Dublin Pride Festival once St. Andrew's made their concerns known, the church was unwilling to change their position.

"St. Andrew's Church previously permitted another Dublin-based LGBT+ choir to perform in 2023, yet has seemingly made this decision due to the event's title and their perception of its association with the festival.

"This decision sends a clear message: LGBT+ choirs are not welcome in the church if they seek to express pride in who they are, their lived experiences, and show solidarity with one another and the wider cause of greater dignity and inclusivity for LGBT+ people."

McNamara concluded: "We will not be deterred from spreading the choir's positive, inclusive message, and celebrating and standing up for LGBT+ people across Dublin and beyond."

McNamara said the Dublin Gay Men's Chorus has secured a new venue at Sandford Church in Ranelagh for the June 23 concert; all 300 tickets sold for the original concert will be valid for the new venue.