The Australian Labor Party, which forms the present Australian Government, is having its national conference, where policy ideas are discussed and decided. This year, one of the “hot” topics for discussion is gay marriage. (Technically, I think the proposal is a change to the Marriage Act, which currently specifies marriage is between a man and a woman.)
The main opposition comes from the churches, especially the Anglican and Catholic churches, and Labor party officials with church links. Are they right?
Christians have a right to express their opinions, just like anyone else. And we have a right to seek laws and policies which are clearly in the public interest. But it is hard to see how opposing gay marriage fits either of these categories. Gays are going to live in marriage-like relationships, whether they are called “marriages” or not. Christian marriage will continue regardless of the Government definition. So it is hard to see how a change in the law will be much more than symbolic.
We live in a pluralist society, and we don’t have any mandate from Jesus, that I can think of, to force other people to conform to any christian ethic we may uphold. We would be extremely opposed to any move to discriminate against us, for example by not allowing proselytising, so shouldn’t we be very wary of disallowing other people making their own choices?
We surely have better things to do than expending energy trying to legislate righteousness – for example, loving our neighbours, rather than restricting their freedoms.
The church is not well respected (see Barriers to belief), and this is one of the reasons why.
What do you think?