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The argument is that applying the word "marriage" to some relationships and not to others is unequal treatment, and thus discrimination. But it is the duty of the law to judiciously discriminate and to appropriately recognise difference with, at times, unequal treatment of things that are not the same.It isn't automatically wrong to discriminate In fact, it may be the case that offering supposedly "equal" treatment is incoherent, as it is in this case.The passing of the Irish referendum on same-sex marriage has triggered a round of Australian advocates announcing that it is now "our turn".We lag behind the UK, many European countries, some states in the US, and (perish the thought!
But allow me to make the case for traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman, writes Michael Jensen.It is the meaning of marriage that emerges from all human cultures as they reflect on and experience what it is to be male and female. When I ask them about marriage, they almost always indicate that it is for them the beginning of a new family unit open to welcoming children.It is only in the last 15 years that anyone has seriously thought differently. A child is a tangible expression of our sexed twoness.Instead of the particular orientation of marriage towards the bearing and nurture of children, we will have a kind of marriage in which the central reality is my emotional choice. The revisionist case has not provided a clear and reasonable definition of marriage beyond saying that if two people want to call their relationship by that name, they should be able to by choice.Now, having put that opinion forward, I fully recognise that there are many people of intelligence and good will who disagree. What I do hope is that my contribution here will not be derided as bigoted or homophobic out of hand, but that it will be seen as part of a civil discussion.