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Partnership bill objectors should be supported

I READ with great interest the recent letters dealing with the Civil Partnership Bill and the opinions of the letter-writers on the measure and its possible consequences. I am concerned that the bill might make it possible to prosecute those whose conscience will not allow them to facilitate or participate in a same-sex civil partnership ceremony.

Surely it must be amended to facilitate the exercise of a person’s conscience, as long as this does not prevent others from exercising theirs.

If it is not, then that isn’t justice and I believe those whose conscience is strained on this matter must defy the law with the support of everyone who believes in their right to do so.

Having said all that, I still believe same-sex couples must have the right to form a civil partnership that gives each of them appropriate protection under the law.

However, I do not believe this partnership should have the same status as a marriage between a man and a woman, or even long-term partnership between a man and a woman.

I am concerned that the right to form a civil partnership between same-sex couples that is given the same status as marriage might lead to same-sex couples being given the right to adopt whether or not that is best for the children.

I do not agree with this because I believe the right of the child to be raised under the best circumstances, that is by a mother and a father who are ideally in a marriage or long-term partnership, would be made subordinate to the desire of same-sex adults to adopt a child. I say despite the desire to adopt a child because I do not believe any person of any sex in any kind of relationship has a right to adopt. Only when the rights of the child can be exercised by adoption should it be used, and even then the first choice must be adoption by a man and a woman.

I believe we must support the institution of marriage or, if not marriage, then long-term relationship between a man and woman. I believe this not only because it is best for the child to be raised in this kind of relationship but because it is best for society. By whatever means we must support families and communities whatever the cost.

Finally I must take issue with a remark made by one of the letter writers, Gerald O’Carroll (September 3). He says he disagrees with the left-liberal constituency in general who deny “the objective evidence about the consequence of undermining traditional marriage as the basis for civil society”.

Well, I am as left-wing as you can get, and I agree undermining traditional marriage also helps to undermine civil society. However, I believe liberalism is the main threat to a fair and just civil society because it leads to the very thing that undermines civil society the most: free-market capitalism. So let’s get this straight: there are left-wingers who fully support traditional marriage.

Brian Abbott


Bishopstown Road



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