Tolerant Tolerance

page_bgThe debate over marriage equality has flared up yet again, being relentlessly and aggressively re-promoted as a necessity and a right in any fair-minded contemporary society. The push feigns tolerance, but the manner of the push is often intolerant, displaying resentment toward those who, despite loving or respecting gay people as individuals, simply feel that the institution of marriage is under attack.

Alternative views are not necessarily inherently bigoted and any suggestion to the contrary is illogical and offensive. What is often missed is that the terms ‘marriage equality’ and ‘same-sex marriage’ subtly advocate a mere variation on an institution, whereas they actually undermine it. Marriage is biologically, historically and innately about a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.

That heterosexual marriage is often done badly is irrelevant to the debate. That gay people believe they deserve equality is, too. There is no discrimination because everyone actually has an equivalent right to be married, understanding though that marriage is fundamentally and unalterably heterosexual in its very nature, notwithstanding that it is therefore undesirable for some on those terms. ‘Homosexual marriage’ is an oxymoron and analogous to suggesting that I should be able to take a tennis racquet onto a badminton court in the name of tolerance and respect for my sporting preferences or desires. Whilst I don’t wish to trivialise the fact that gay people do not feel they have a choice regarding their sexual orientation, legitimisation is often about normalisation, so the oft-heard cry to ‘live and let live’ ignores the strength and validity of feeling against this.

Is my marriage compromised by same-sex people being permitted to tie the knot? Of course not. That is not the point. And as appalling as the mistreatment and bullying of some gay people is, too, affirming their status or presumed rights is not the point either. The point is that marriage is being misunderstood and misrepresented. It has long been undermined, not just by the current debate, but by any straying from an understanding that sex itself is designed to be confined to one marriage relationship for life. The fact that this is often deemed an archaic point of view (though agreed to by millions) shows how far we have already come down an increasingly slippery slope. Marriage is not a recent institution, but an ancient one, tracing its origins to the Bible in which the God who gave it logically sets the boundaries for its optimum effectiveness and enjoyment.

And that’s why I am endorsing an objective and polite stance on this issue through coordinated campaigns that simply help people to voice their opinion to their federal member, such as that run by the Australian Christian Lobby (click here to contact your MP). Surely any tolerant society can endorse the right of individuals to simply articulate their values and their views on important debates, without vitriol or vehemence against them.


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