Australian Marriage Equality convener, Alex Greenwich (The Age, 5/1), needs to listen a little more to religious community concerns on gay marriage. Proposed legislation “assur(ing) churches they would not be forced to marry gay couples” may offer some consolation. (Although overseas experience suggests such protection may be temporary anyway.) However for those people of faith who oppose the redefinition of marriage, the central concerns are broader and deeper than the impact of gay marriage on the church itself or it’s ministers. We believe such a change would be to the profound detriment of future generations and of our whole society, not just ourselves. Others are fully entitled to disagree with our worldview. But any serious discussion of this vexed subject must reckon with the scope of our unease, which will not be assuaged by some self-directed political deal.
Generally speaking, the more profound the proposed cultural change the longer and more patient the debate required, if trust is not to be a casualty. This national conversation has barely begun. Now is not the time for legislative haste.