The anti-gay-marriage campaign harms our community. It makes it harder for young gay people struggling with their sexuality because it signals that it is wrong. It contributes to the serious mental health issues such as depression that many young gay people face.
It implies that gay people are not equal, contributing to the bullying that young people face at school.
One of the key issues for mine is the Church’s understanding of sexual identity which stems from scriptures written nearly 2000 years ago. My friends’ sexual orientation is not a matter of ‘‘sin’’, but of biochemistry.
respect the right of religious people to disagree with same-sex marriage, and I have no desire to force them to change the way they see marriage in their congregations. I support the parts of both current Bills that say that celebrants should not be forced to perform same-sex marriages. The question of what marriage is in a given congregation is a debate for them, to happen at its own pace and to make sense for them.
But respecting religious freedom like this means drawing lines around congregations: they have the right to determine what religious terms mean for themselves, but only if they can’t define it for other groups. If the Lutheran gets to define marriage for everyone, the Episcopalian has no freedom to define it for themselves, for example. Societies with freedom of religion, like ours, have to keep religious definitions separate from the state as much as possible for this reason.
So unless there are clear reasons why it will cause problems, the definition of marriage should be as broad as possible. That way, religious groups who want to regard it in a certain way are free to do so.
I’ve read all the comments here on both sides, as of 9:07am, 10/5/12. I can see that many who oppose gay marriage are sincere, and motivated by genuine concern for the wellbeing of society and especially children. I have no desire to call such people names: I share and commend their concern. I just disagree that same-sex marriage will have any particular negative effect on society or upon children. In my mind the burden of proof is on those who argue that it will. I understand that SSM opponents