Gay marriage debate runs hot, but polls say we'll vote for it

Bruce Devereaux, aggro for marriage reform.
Bruce Devereaux, aggro for marriage reform. Patrick Woods

DESPITE the apparently easygoing yes-leaning attitudes of most Australians (according to a Fifty Acres YouGov poll released Tuesday), the issue of same sex marriage is running hot, especially online, in the Gympie region.

Columnist Bruce Devereaux was hitting hard, accusing most opponents of the change of being old and bigoted.

He said he understood the difficulty experienced by people opposed to same sex marriage "if you grew up in a time when it was illegal to be gay and gay bashing was a thing you aspired to on Friday nights.

"Most Australians can pretty much make a complete dog's breakfast of their relationships and that's okay.

"Hypocrisy is alive and well, it seems. Why are we, in this country, allowing any religious group to dictate our laws? Especially when in the same breath people are worried about Sharia Law?"

Businessman Michael Torrens supported much of what Mr Devereaux was saying, but was more easygoing in his approach.

He said the debate seemed to be caught up in concern about the use of the word "marriage.''


Llew O'Brien.
Llew O'Brien. Alistair Brightman

"But it's about people in same sex relationships having the same rights in a marriage," Mr Torrens said.

A Catholic Church spokesman said Sunday's Catholic Leader newspaper would argue for the rights of opponents of the change.

He said they should not be seen as brutes or bigots, but people who "have a different understanding of the human person and what makes for a healthy society''.

"Issues like this aren't trivial, nor are they well handled by ideological can't and smart slogans,'' he said.

"Everyone agrees that justice for all is basic to any healthy society, but we don't all agree that same sex marriage is a sign of either.

"One of the problems is that ideology and slick marketing have infected the public debate," he said, quoting Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said the strength of public opinion illustrated the importance of a plebiscite.

"I made an election commitment to support a plebiscite and I am honouring that commitment."

Topics:  bruce devereaux gay marriage gympie issues llew o'brien plebiscite same sex marriage

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