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05-Dec-2017 17:35

One of them is this: if the Marriage Act changes, this is not the end of the world for me. I am more distressed by our inattention to children in detention, or our national greed problem, than by the possibility that the definition of marriage might be changed.Another is that I stand adamantly against the bullying and vilification of people of minority sexual identities.It is crucial to notice that the proposed revision of marriage laws involves exactly that: a revision of marriage.In order to offer the status of marriage to couples of the same sex, the very meaning of marriage has to be changed.Could it be that if you haven't heard the case opposing a change to the marriage law, it is because the language of those advocating it has been so emotive that the contrary case can't be heard above the noise?Could it really be said that a civil disagreement has taken place? I would like to make the case for traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman; but to do so with some important qualifications.

There are those in favour of change, we are told, and then there are the bigots.Instead of the particular orientation of marriage towards the bearing and nurture of children, we will have a kind of marriage in which the central reality is my emotional choice. The revisionist case has not provided a clear and reasonable definition of marriage beyond saying that if two people want to call their relationship by that name, they should be able to by choice.Now, having put that opinion forward, I fully recognise that there are many people of intelligence and good will who disagree. What I do hope is that my contribution here will not be derided as bigoted or homophobic out of hand, but that it will be seen as part of a civil discussion.Even when children do not arrive, the differentiated twoness of marriage indicates its inherent structure.

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Now, I didn't pluck this definition from the sky, nor is it simply a piece of religious teaching.

The argument is that applying the word "marriage" to some relationships and not to others is unequal treatment, and thus discrimination. But it is the duty of the law to judiciously discriminate and to appropriately recognise difference with, at times, unequal treatment of things that are not the same.