Same-sex marriage debate shows no sign of letting up
Tony Abbott does a fine job undermining his own argument (14/11). He links opposition to same-sex marriage with defending Western civilisation, on the grounds that “change is part of life but change for the better is invariably evolutionary, not revolutionary, and builds on our best traditions and historical strengths”.
But the change in attitudes to SSM has been evolutionary. It hasn’t happened overnight or been forced on the people. It is the result of a steady shift in beliefs about homosexuality over the past 50 years. And the postal survey, because it’s a democratic means of measuring that change, builds precisely on one of our best traditions and historical strengths.
Traditions include not only established institutions, but also methods for modifying them as beliefs or circumstances change.
So, whatever one’s views on SSM, the idea that it represents a rejection of Western civilisation — over the past centuries, a dynamic and socially transformative force — is nonsense. Stephen Buckle, Glebe, NSW Han Yang (Letters, 14/11) argues by analogy that because as a progressive, he is happy to deliver a conservative newspaper to Liberal customers, then other business people should not decline to make a transaction that offends their moral beliefs. Perhaps he does not read The Aus
tralian for it actually offers a broad range of social, economic and political views from dry to sopping wet. Second, as a business person, he is not being asked to produce a good or service that offends his beliefs. He is not being asked to go against his beliefs — just deliver a newspaper. Peter Crossman, Chapel Hill, Qld