No harm done

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News that the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act has been given Royal Assent south of the ­Border was met by the mainstream churches with the absurd claim that traditional marriage will be “harmed” (your report, 
19 July).

Philosopher John Stuart Mill believed adults should be free to pursue their own experiments in living because these improve society in the same way that differing opinions are beneficial.

He argued that, provided adults live within the limits of the harm principle (that their actions do not harm others), then alternative life experiences should be encouraged. Thus, as a general rule in Britain, “everything which is not forbidden is allowed” whereas in Germany “everything which is not allowed is forbidden”.

Of course, in the USSR, “everything was forbidden even when it was expressly allowed”, while today in North Korea, “everything that is not forbidden is compulsory”. I would not go so far as to support Italy’s “everything is allowed even if it is forbidden”, but I do wish gay married couples well and it is high time our clerics lightened up!

Dr John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews, Fife

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