7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018

Gay weddings are no threat to family values

Anti-gay campaigners have condemned the first gay "marriage" in the UK, as an abomination and a threat to family values.

But while civil same-sex unions may not be conventional, to condemn them as a threat to the fabric of society or family values is ridiculous.

The UK is just the latest in a string of European countries to legally recognise same-sex partnerships, though the word marriage does not appear in the contract.

My personal view is that someone's sexuality is their personal business and they should neither wear it like a badge, nor be hounded or condemned for their preferences, provided the relationship is between consenting adults.

Some societies accept homosexuality, some condemn it and others turn a blind eye, a level of tolerance which often leaves gay people unprotected by the law.

I cannot see anything wrong with a genuine, loving partnership and to me there are other very real threats to society and family values to be concerned about.

Adultery, wife-beating and child abuse are all threats to those values, yet we rarely see moralists marching with banners for better laws to protect those who fall victim to these social ills.

The sanctity of marriage is not about sexuality, it is about love, respect, loyalty and commitment, none of which is exclusive to the heterosexual community.

Society must have a moral fabric by which we should all live, but it should be woven around the values of human decency and tolerance, not prejudice.

I have always tried to judge people by how they behave towards others and someone who is warm and caring towards those around them cannot go too far wrong in my book.

If people feel unable to celebrate or embrace human diversity then they should at least try to be tolerant and understanding, whether the differences are about race, religion, culture or sexuality.

Some of those shouting the loudest against the UK's new law are pounding the Bible, yet they seem to have forgotten its strongest message, that we are all equal, that all life must be respected and that we should all live in mutual tolerance.

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