Thoughtful article in (we jest not!) The AGE

Simon Mann reviews the essential arguments against same-sex marriage (not perfect, in AMF's view, but very worthwhile) elegantly enough to beguile even The Age into publishing a piece that is not just more of the "adult-centred" gay-marriage party-line.

THEY say they are not against homosexuals. Nor are they bigots, or religious  zealots or people hankering after a bygone era. What they are against is  same-sex marriage.

In an often vitriolic debate now intensifying in Australia, some say their  point of view has been ridiculed or simply disregarded.

They know, too, that they are pushing against a tide that supporters assume  will have an inevitable end - an amendment to the Commonwealth Marriage Act,  which now defines marriage as ''the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion  of all others''.

Their arguments are varied, but if there is a theme, it turns on ''rights''  as much as it does for those advocating same-sex marriage. The ''rights'' they  champion are not those of gay and lesbian couples to equality before the law,  but the rights of children - specifically, a child's ''inalienable right to have  both a father and a mother'', as the Australian Christian Lobby's Jim Wallace  puts it, paraphrasing the United Nations.

What's at stake, they say, is ''a cultural institution built around a central  biological core, the inherently pro-creative relationship of a man and a  woman'', as the Canadian-Australian ethicist Margaret Somerville has said...

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