Andrew Hastie’s argument to voting no to same-sex marriage (TST, Sept 10) seems to rest on complicating the issue and idealising the institution when it involves people of the opposite sex.
He also seems to trivialise same-sex unions and then paints a picture of unremitting negativity. Mr Hastie has helped me clarify my thinking in favour of what I think is a more loving, fair and inclusive approach to the issue. Like Mr Hastie, I deeply value the institution of marriage. Unlike Mr Hastie, I do not idealise it. Marriage is a life-long commitment to a partner who you love. The important words here are commitment and love. If commitment and love remain uppermost in the married couple’s mind and actions, they have a good chance of success. It may or may not lead to the birth of children. It may or may not last as long as a lifetime. It may or may not bring more happiness than sadness. Mr Hastie also worries parents “have lost control of the education of their children” when educational institutions have never been more aware of and responsive to the wants of parents.
Mr Hastie paints an apocalyptic view that “there will be much more madness if we redefine marriage”. Am I to believe there is a madness about commitment, equality and love? Is there a madness in adding to the stability of society? Is there madness in an education system that nurtures our children so well?
Finally, Mr Hastie worries this “madness” of redefining marriage will threaten “freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. Freedom of thought is one of the most unassailable aspects of being a human, so I think Mr Hastie is overstating the case here. I close wishing my fellow humans who want to form a marriage partnership with commitment and love all the very best. Whatever the gender of the two people it will be a challenging and fulfilling journey.