Opinion: Children must be protected when it comes to same sex marriage

IN THE case of same-sex marriage, if the different partnering choices of consenting adults from this minority group do not unduly diminish the rights of the majority, it would seem both compassionate and reasonable to accommodate those choices within Australia’s laws by modifying the Marriage Act.

However, if that accommodation should result in Australia de-prioritising its responsibility to protect the rights of the most vulnerable group in our society – our children – then we would have been negligent in our duty to that group, and our status as a just and compassionate society would be severely diminished.

There are no doubt many same-sex cases, such as Penny Wong’s, where the love and support provided by resourceful, same-sex partners will go a long way to helping their children overcome the many special challenges they will inevitably have to face.

There will always be circumstances, beyond the reach of our laws, where children of traditional, heterosexual parents will not receive the love they need.

However, changing the Marriage Act to accommodate same-sex marriage is likely to further legitimise, and popularise, the acquisition of children by same-sex partners.

As a consequence, many more children may be deprived of the more natural first preference of a heterosexual mother and father.

The way we ultimately decide to vote on same-sex marriage may be a measure of our willingness to see our children’s natural rights trampled beneath the self-righteous egos of this stampeding herd.