Let’s have the same-sex marriage talk

We're stuck with this expensive opinion poll, intended to keep our federal MPs from having to follow their consciences.

So I asked some conservative Christian friends what they thought.

Jesus defined marriage as between a man and woman, to the exclusion of all others, for life, one said; God made male and female, and they were meant to become one.

The law should not force bakers and florists to support same-sex weddings.

Normalising same-sex relationships made children question their sexuality and gender identity, another said, and made it harder for LGBT people to come to faith.

Those opinions are valid.

But God made people gay and straight.

Jesus' definition of marriage was accurate, but we are being asked if it is still relevant.

The law already requires businesses not to discriminate against same-sex couples; if a baker or florist's beliefs lead them to discriminate anyway, they should face the consequences with head held high.

(I think of the journalists who disobey court orders to protect confidential sources: the law has a right to demand, and an individual the right to refuse, but consequences will follow.)

Children will always question, and it is already hard for same-sex attracted people to reconcile God's unfailing love with the church's uncompromising tradition.

This is not a vote about whether homosexuality is a sin, but even so, ask yourself: should two sinners be allowed to marry?

All have sinned and fallen short, including this columnist, but I have had the privilege of eight years of marriage and counting.

The institution of marriage cannot be cheapened any further.

Turn on a TV and you can watch strangers get married at first sight for the sake of entertainment and advertising dollars.

Why should divorcees, mothers out of wedlock, couples who will never have children, visa applicants, cheaters, mysogynists, violent men, black and white people, tall and short people, conservative and progressive people all have the right to marry; but gay and lesbian people should not?

If your marriage is capable of being ruined by gay men being granted the right to express their love in a park on some sunny Saturday, you may have a problem.

I will vote for love over and above its scriptural definition, and submit myself to God's judgment and your letters.

Peri Strathearn