Equal right to ques­tion SSM

Albany Advertiser - - OPINION -

I wel­come Tony Evers’ ar­gu­ment (Fear mud­dies de­bate waters, 14/9) about the same-sex mar­riage de­bate, find­ing it in­sight­ful, and I ap­plaud the fact that he is given op­por­tu­nity to freely ex­press it.

Fear, how­ever, is not driv­ing those of us who wish to ex­press dis­sim­i­lar views. We sim­ply are do­ing what is as­sumed as mem­bers of a com­mu­nity.

We bring emo­tion to the de­bate but we also bring rea­son, ar­gu­ing strongly that every­one be given the op­por­tu­nity to have a say.

We re­ject the la­bels of big­otry and in­tol­er­ance ap­plied to us sim­ply be­cause we hold a dif­fer­ent view. Where we have la­belled oth­ers be­cause their view dif­fers from ours, we are at fault.

We do not ac­cept that chang­ing the mar­riage def­i­ni­tion is sim­ple. It em­braces much more than meet­ing the want for same-sex cou­ples to marry. It will im­pact the com­mu­nity’s views on child rear­ing and many other prac­tices around chil­dren.

It can­not be said that this change will all be good be­cause, in Aus­tralia at least, it is yet to be tested. To point out that peo­ple in places such as Canada are be­ing pre­vented from fol­low­ing norms ac­cepted for gen­er­a­tions is not scare­mon­ger­ing. The ev­i­dence there is build­ing.

Tol­er­ance once al­lowed two peo­ple to ex­press their dif­fer­ing views and to move on with­out per­sonal in­sult. This SSM is­sue has seen a la­bel of “hate speech” at­tached to any di­ver­gent opin­ion.

We will con­tinue to speak be­cause we believe that more peo­ple will be dis­ad­van­taged by this change to the mar­riage law than will ben­e­fit. We are con­vinced that any com­mu­nity mem­ber ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in­equities through cur­rent laws can find par­ity through amend­ments to the ap­pli­ca­ble leg­is­la­tion.

As a Chris­tian I hold to a world view which is much broader than the SSM is­sue. This world view says that we all, no mat­ter which gen­der we iden­tify with, fall short of a stan­dard. We are all mind­ful of hav­ing “messed up” and a time is com­ing when I, along with all who walk this Earth, will be called to give ac­count for my fail­ings to my Maker. The good news is our Maker has paved the way for me and for you to en­joy peace with him through Je­sus.

This world view states that all peo­ple have worth and so I will treat you with dig­nity and re­spect no mat­ter what your choices are; how­ever, this does not guar­an­tee that I will al­ways agree with you on how our com­mu­nity ought to be shaped for the bet­ter­ment of the many with min­i­mal dis­ad­van­tage to the few.

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