BY FRANK BRENNAN SJ
The same sex marriage debate is about what recognition the civil law should give to committed monogamous partnerships which may or may not involve the nurturing and education of children.
I remain committed to legal recognition of civil unions while maintaining the distinctive institution of civil marriage as the bond between a man and a woman open to bearing and nurturing each other's children.
I am aware that the maintenance of this distinction is causing hurt to some people, while others think it is too compromising.
It was a galvanising moment in the same sex marriage debate when audience member Ross Scheepers asked Joe Hockey on the ABC’s Q&A to “tell us and Senator Wong why you think you and Melissa make better parents than her and Sophie”.
Hockey replied: “I think in this life we've got to aspire to give our children what I believe to be the very best circumstances and that's to have a mother and a father ... I'm not saying gay parents are any lesser parents but I am being asked to legislate in favour of something that I don't believe to be the best outcome for a child.”
Compere Tony Jones then asked Penny Wong for her opinion. When asked if it was hurtful Wong replied, “Of course it is but, you know, I know what my family is worth.”
Fr Frank Brennan is a lawyer and human rights activist.
What gay parents are worth (Frank Brennan / Eureka Street)