Voting ‘No’ will deny freedom of religion
IT IS a furphy to suggest, as many ‘No’ voters do, that if our nation votes ‘Yes’ the freedom of its churches will be compromised and ministers of religion and civil celebrants will be forced against their will to marry same-sex couples.
They are not forced to marry anyone now (as evidenced by the case of the young couple who were denied a church wedding because the bride-to-be had publicised her intention of voting ‘Yes’.) And there is no reason why the situation should change.
What concerns me just now, though, is my own lack of religious freedom. I had two dear friends who had lived in a same-sex relationship for 40 years.
And I have vivid memories of the time when one of them was in hospital and seemed likely to die.
When I visited his partner he cried on my shoulder, much as anyone would do in a good heterosexual relationship. Their love was real enough: but I was unable to celebrate their union in our church. And I will never get to do so, because one of them died on a holiday celebrating their “ruby anniversary”.
It is also ridiculous to suggest that children raised in a home with two fathers or two mothers will be at a disadvantage emotionally ... apart from the teasing they could encounter at school.
Among my friends are two gay couples, who “love to bits” the children they have adopted ... children that had been neglected and/or abused in so-called “normal” families! — Rev John Tyman, Murwillumbah