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December 13th 2011 print

Gay marriage debate

Paul Monk argues for; Andrew McIntyre doesn’t.


Paul Monk is for gay marriage; Andrew McIntyre isn’t.


Paul Monk in The Age:

Gay vows not so queer

Religion’s baulking at homosexual marriage is utterly sanctimonious.

The reaction by conservative religious leaders and political commentators to the decision by the ALP on gay marriage has been that this tilt will imperil the party at the next federal election. It may well do. But the reasons supplied are shocking arguments against a call for legitimising gay marriage.

I am not a member of the left-wing intelligentsia, I am not gay and I am not standing for office. But I am a believer in clear reasoning, and what has been written on the subject cries out – if not to heaven, then to the intellect – for a response.

The case for gay marriage has been advanced by various parties and it is not my business to defend their specific arguments or their political ideologies. But surely one might make the following argument for such a move, without regard – for the moment – to the moral prejudices of religious conservatives or the electoral analyses of the pundits (some of whom I number among my friends).

There are a significant number of our fellow citizens who are gay. Their sexual orientation is not a matter of ”sin”, but of biochemistry. They are, in this sense, a minority that has long been persecuted and vilified in conservative religious societies.

Read article at The Age

 

Andrew McIntyre’s letter (unedited version) to The Age:

Paul Monk’s moralising is all the more surprising for someone who has devoted his professional life considering all sides of an argument. This piece was one sided knee jerk anti-religious posturing.

Like Monk, I also am not of the left-wing intelligentsia, nor am I gay or standing for office. However, unlike Monk, I have never been in thrall to religious obedience. The claim that secular arguments against same sex marriage are absent or non-existent, or that the ALP’s change on this issue is somehow courageous and imaginative, is itself courageous and imaginative.

What is missing in his argument is an understanding of the central reason why society must have a particular regard for heterosexual union. In large part it is to do with the momentous consequences of the potential for issue. Bertrand Russell neatly summarises it. “It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution”.

I urge Monk to include this factor in his argument diagram. Oh, and by the way, I also “have gay friends and know gay couples”.

Source: andrewmcintyre.org