Same-sex marriage is not about same-sex marriage

  • Sumo

I’ve lifted the following quotation from an article in The Australian

In the Anglo-American world [including Australia], gay marriage has become one of those causes through which the cosmopolitan cultural elites define themselves and construct a moral contrast between themselves and ordinary folk. What’s really important for them is the sense of superiority experienced through the conviction that “we” are not like them. In this way, a clear moral distinction is drawn between the forward-looking attitudes of an enlightened, courageous minority and the backward-looking prejudices of a homophobic majority.

It’s an obvious point. The cause is about self-definition (‘I am …’) and moral contrast (‘… on the side of good’). We all want to say, ‘I am on the side of good.’ Fair enough, but I have a concern with using this cause as the test.

The reason: ‘the cause’ has become a tool more important than real people, gay or not.

To make another obvious point, sexual identity is a very sensitive thing. Moral and political contrasts in the past were on such matters as free trade versus tariffs, or whether responsibility lies more on the individual or the state.

To throw sexuality into the centre of this kind of debate … It’s going to get messy and hurt people. Yet, for that very reason, it’s important to engage.

So a real question is this: how can we engage the discussion, while striving with all integrity to help people not hurt them?