Equality agenda

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Richard Lucas has gone too far this time (Letters, 29 August). He talks of the “gay agenda” and of “endorsing sexual immorality”.

There is no wider “gay agenda” other than equality. As far as “sexual immorality” is concerned, does Mr Lucas remember that the biblical character Abraham was married to his half-sister and two other women? Maybe sexual ­morality in general has moved on since then.

Any relationship which involves consent, the fulfilment of the people involved and which does no harm to others is surely only a problem in Mr Lucas’s imagination.

It is absurd to suggest that children choose to be gay simply because they catch a glimpse of a happy, gay person or chance across some positive attitudes. This was the naive belief of the now repealed Clause 28.

However much some religious believers would prefer to see fewer gay people in the world, their expressed distaste and opposition to equality serve only to spread unhappiness and invite ridicule of Christianity.

Neil Barber

Edinburgh Secular Society

Saughtonhall Drive

Edinburgh

Richard Lucas accuses me of “repeating the standard anti-democratic illogical and central tenet of secularism: the views of religious people should be excluded from policy-making decisions”.

I’m confused as to how he has arrived at this erroneous position.

It’s true that I find Mr Lucas’s views on human sexuality to be, to say the least, backwards, and at times offensive.

However, I have never questioned his right to hold or ­express these views, religiously inspired or not.

Secularism is the principle that people of religious faith should not be treated any better or worse as a result of their beliefs.

As an aside, and to show that matters of sexuality are not resolved even within Christendom, there are many churches and clergy who also hold the institution of marriage in high regard – so much so that they would wish for same-sex couples to enjoy such a union.

Mr Lucas is trying, and failing, to position himself and the church as a persecuted minority.

Gary McLelland

Duke Wynd

Glasgow

In his efforts to demonstrate that sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice rather than innate, Ellis Thorpe (Letters, 29 August) asks how we make sense of becoming gay in later life. The answer is pretty obvious, from what my gay and lesbian friends who have apparently done so tell me.

All of them were quite clear from an early age what their true sexual orientation was, but fearing the opprobrium which still attaches to it from certain sections of the community, they engaged in heterosexual relationships in a vain attempt to be “cured”.

It was only later that they felt brave enough to be honest about their preference. There may, of course, be some individuals who are in effect bisexual, but why is this a problem?

A friend of mine, widowed after a long and happy marriage, eventually found a new partner of her own sex. When asked if that meant she was really lesbian, she replied: “At my age, it’s so unusual to find another kind, loving and loyal partner that their gender is irrelevant.”

(Dr) Mary Brown

Dalvenie Road

Banchory

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