Traditions have evolved
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” expresses empathy and compassion in a simple, clear way.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” falls into the same category.
Invoking the Christian scriptures to suit our arguments is temptation even to those of us who are not aligned with any particular religion.
In the debate on same-sex marriage and any linked discussion of “values and morals” as passed on to children (Amber Pascoe, Letters, 22/9), the values of empathy and compassion seem particularly relevant.
The traditional concept of love and marriage has evolved and expanded in many ways.
But it cannot be guaranteed to last, as in one “strong and stable” marriage for a lifetime, or to produce good parents, let alone children who will inherit a “godly legacy”.
A loving, respectful and sharing partnership, with unconditional love and care for any children who are born, fostered or adopted as a result of that relationship, is definitely worth debating, whether the union is heterosexual or between two people who identify somewhere on the LGBTIQ spectrum.
Vague references to “evil” influences on children due to an expanded definition of marriage seem questionable, when from the day they are born, or even while still in the womb, children are influenced by the religious, gendered and cultural beliefs and expectations of their parents, however singular or open-minded those parents may be.
The lucky children are raised to be unafraid to ask questions, challenge the status quo occasionally, find their own way, and make their own decisions as they learn and grow towards adulthood and beyond.