Dreadful opinion

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IN HER attempt to deconstruct the idea of homophobia, Nancy Clusker (Letters, 6 February) uses the phrase “the beliefs of those who do not approve of homosexual practice”.

Surely “disapproval” can only be legitimately felt of another’s activity when it has an impact on the disapprover such as smoking in a public space? That Ms Clusker feels the need to reach out with her judgment into the private lives of gay people, which have no effect on her own, does indeed betray an agenda on her part.

Young people of all sexual orientations grow up surrounded by images of romantic marriage and equality removes one of the last enshrinements of discrimination.

In what is an extremely generous deal, religious opponents of equality have been granted an “opt-in” system should they wish not to take part in marriage ceremonies.

It is ironic that these same church leaders vehemently oppose similar “opt-in” freedoms when it comes to the imposition of their religion in schools and government.

Neil Barber

Saughtonhall Drive

Edinburgh

Nancy Clusker is fearful that because lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of our society are now legitimately able to marry, that the vast, and I mean vast, majority of opposite-sex marriage unions will come under pressure and become unable to express themselves in the public square.

It is a nonsense to even utter such words. This is a relatively free country and the expression of one’s thoughts and ideas is entrenched in our social and intellectual freedoms. However with such expression comes the responsibility for that expression.

If Ms Clusker wants to express her view that equal marriage is wrong (in her eyes) then fine. She may be taken to task by others who do not feel that way. Again, fine.
This is to be expected in a mature democracy and judging by the voting numbers, it seems pretty obvious that equal marriage has found its time.

I note that Ms Clusker comes from West Lothian – the Lothians showed a 69 per cent support for equal marriage in the YouGov poll and was considered the most liberal of areas polled.

This mature democracy also legislated against the death penalty – a good thing too. However, there are members of our society who would see that penalty re-instated.

That won’t happen and we will all get on with our lives in any case, but there are dissenters as there are with the equal marriage legislation.

All Scots are free to debate in the public square – nothing will be “snuffed” out, but ridicule for ideas that are irrational has to be expected. And, of course, Ms Clusker is free to disagree with those who don’t hold her view.

This was always about freedom of choice. This issue should never have gained more importance than poverty, child abuse, education and health. It just isn’t important in the greater scheme of things.

Veronica Denyer

Parbroath Road

Glenrothes, Fife

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