I will be the first to accept that homosexual people have suffered discrimination and sometimes worse through the decades and that the churches have, at times, been complicit in this. There is much penance to be done before we can look our homosexual brothers and sisters in the eye. But that baleful history does not diminish the need to speak the truth in love.

I firmly believe that redefining marriage to embrace same-sex relationships would mean diminishing the meaning of marriage for most people, with very little if anything gained for homosexual people. If I am right, in the long term we would all be losers.

Of course, if someone should ask, “how will my marriage be affected if couples of the same sex can marry?”, the answer is: not at all. But let me put the question another way: what sort of a society would we have if we came to see all family relationships primarily in terms of equal rights? The family is designed to meet the different needs of its different members in different ways. It is the model of the just society that responds intelligently to differences rather than treating everyone the same.

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