Same gender marriage

I wrote this letter to the local paper (Bendigo Advertiser) more than a week ago in response to a published letter by a local Catholic Priest. They don’t seem to want to publish it so I thought I’d post it here. 

As we might expect, Fr McGrath gives his church’s view on same-gender marriage, consistent with the Catholic Church’s view on same gender relationships; and we would hardly expect a priest of the Catholic Church to do otherwise. However this is not the only Christian view of such relationships.

He speaks of natural law. For gay and lesbian people, same-gender attraction is their natural state; often arrived at after many years of struggle, seeking to deny their innate sexual attraction. Many of us who follow Christ would want to uphold their right to enter into the kind of tender, intimate and joyous relationships that we heterosexual people are free to enjoy.

When gay and lesbian people are denied the right to enter into marriage we send a clear message that there is something wrong with them, that they are unworthy. It becomes an extension of the historic homophobia and hatred that has led to violence and persecution of these people who are different. It continues the fear and self-loathing that promotes depression and suicide, especially among young people who are desperate to be ‘normal.’

This is tyranny at least as evil as any of the examples that Fr McGrath points to. The church should lovingly embrace all people, celebrate the richness and diversity of humanity, and convey God’s invitation to live with justice, joy and hope. When it comes to law there is only one that truly matters; to love one’s neighbour as oneself.

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