Part of the headline in the Letters page implies that "Gay Catholics do not seek special treatment", but that is exactly what all gays who seek marriage are in fact doing (August 31).
What is being done by the gay marriage lobby is to change the meaning and application of the word marriage.
Tim Hopkins challenges TG Fielding about his comment "that marriage will make no difference to same-sex couples due to civil union". Apparently it will make so much difference to those who agree with the traditional view of marriage that same-sex marriage should not be allowed (Letters, August 31).
Unlike him I think this does make rational sense. Surely the point of civil union is to recognise same-sex union, give property rights and to reduce, and hopefully delete, discrimination. To say same-sex marriage is not required is indeed a contradiction in terms.
I do not know how a civil union ceremony ends but it cannot have the very different recognition which comes with heterosexual marriage. In such a ceremony the couple arrive as man and woman, they leave it as husband and wife and it is this which makes marriage unique, and rightly unique only to heterosexuals.
I am happy with the legislation created to recognise same-sex union and to give gays and lesbians a place in society but it is wrong to make out that they need marriage to fulfil that. Civil union and marriage can stand side by side to recognise difference but accord civil and human rights to both.
Richard A McKenzie,
5 Dalmeny Avenue,
Much has been written regarding the proposed introduction of same-sex marriage and I see Tim Hopkins of the Equality Network believes this policy will lead to "greater equality and fairness".
Furthermore, many commentators have raised the tired image of a reactionary church opposing equality. Given that the equalities ideal is rooted in the basic Christian principle that all are equal in worth and dignity before God, this principle underlies the abolition of the slave trade and the civil rights movements of the 1960s, for example. The Catholic Church is globally one of the leading advocates of equality and rights – for the elderly, the unborn, immigrants, woman and gay people.
The church favours laws which outlaw discrimination against homosexual people, but not laws which undermine the special place of marriage which can only be between a man and a woman. It is a unique institution which deserves special protection, and is the best place for bringing up children.
The church does not oppose same-sex marriage because it is against equality or gay rights, but because other interests and rights should weigh more heavily in the balance.
The church's advocacy of marriage as an institution deserving of protection by the state stems from the unique nature of marriage as beneficial to children and to society in general. Excluding from it those who do not meet its essential conditions is not discrimination but an attempt to preserve its unique nature. Mr Hopkins would do well to remember the words of the great philosopher Aristotle: "The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal."
Oldhamstocks, East Lothian.
Michael Ryan's polemic against Caroline Campbell succinctly illustrates the medieval mindset required to abdicate human responsibility to make informed moral judgments in a complex and changing world (Letters, August 30).
Ms Campbell's courage and integrity in speaking her mind provide some hope that the pupils in her charge will be better equipped to play their part in a democratic society premised on the citizen's responsibility to be informed and to judge on that basis.
The history of the last century is strewn with the tragedies which occurred when citizens unquestioningly deferred to those who claimed to possess incontrovertible moral authority.
King's House, Boquhan by Balfron.
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