It is a non-question in many countries, beginning with – God help us ! – Ireland. It may be a no-brainer elsewhere but Australia felt it had to make sure that that was what the “vox populi” really wanted. We’re waiting right now for the (foreseeable) results of the (expensive) Post-In vote.
It should not be a surprise, however, that the proposition met with such violent opposition. “The primary end of marriage is procreation” was and is the official teaching of the Catholic Church, and the conviction of even many non-religious people. Ever since we discovered that ten percent of babies are born homosexual, it became obvious that we had no business condemning them for enjoying the sexual drive Nature has given them, anymore than we could condemn heteros for enjoying theirs. The rub is formalizing homosexual unions by marriage. Some opponents would approve officially recognized homosexual unions, so long as they were given a different name (“harrage”, perhaps ? or “homadge” ?). Some would even say that if consensual sexual intimacy and sodomy are practised by married heteros, why not by married homosexuals ? The strange thing, though, is that all this became a public issue when marriage as an institution was going out of fashion. All three of my children have sexual partners – and children – but only one of them is married (civilly only, as it happens …).
Personally I don’t care much whether sexual partners have matching genitalia or not. I do wonder though about the nurture and education of the children whom homosexual couples adopt. The practice is too recent to draw scientific conclusions from the “deprivation” of having both a mother and a father. As time goes by, maybe the “problem” will be proven to have been no problem at all – or maybe a Problem with a capital “P”. Meantime a lot of us have to adjust to a re-definition of the norms we grew up with. And that, of course – in the area of religion – is what this Blog is all about.