Due to a number of messages we have received on social media, the NewsMail website has published a letter by X Factor star and Bundaberg man Justin Standley talking about his views on homosexuality and gay marriage.
His letter was in reply to another letter to the editor on the topic, which can be read below Mr Standley's reply.
I'm writing in response to a letter published in Saturday's paper.
I'm presently on tour, and don't have access to that paper anymore, nor ready access to the internet etc… for the next few days, but I felt compelled to write a response to what I can recall from that published letter about marriage and gay people.
I feel compelled to address some of the popular misconceptions about gay people, gay parenting, gay marriage and marriage generally, that were detailed in a letter to the NewsMail published on Saturday, December 7, 2013.
Note, when I say 'gay', I mean it to include homosexual, bi-sexual and transgender people.
The idea that gay parents would push gay sexuality on their child is utterly ridiculous and offensive.
Homosexuality occurs throughout the entire animal kingdom, why should humans be any different?
Being homosexual is not a choice, God makes homosexuals - just as God makes people with Down Syndrome, indigenous people, gifted people, geniuses, dwarfs… and all manner of minority groups.
Should any of these people have fewer rights or receive less respect than the 'straight' majority?
Recent studies show that children of gay couples are actually less likely to be homosexual (roughly 10% of the general population are gay, whereas, only about 4% of children with gay parents turn out to be homosexual themselves).
Only a small percent of gay couples want to be parents, and, unlike many straight couples who take parenting for granted, gay parents generally try much harder to be good parents, which is why the children of gay parents tend to be higher achievers, more resilient and more actively compassionate members of society.
If anything, it has been straight parents who are guilty of pushing heterosexuality on homosexual offspring; something that has been comprehensively proven to cause homosexual people all manner of heartache, mental and emotional disorders.
It is unfair to look at images of the gay Mardi Gras in Sydney, and criticise all gay people for being too publicly affectionate or sexually provocative.
It staggers me that so many straight people (and politicians) think that the love between same-sex couples is not as strong or as valid as hetero couples.
A thoughtful person would realise that the spectacle of the gay Mardi Gras is not a reflection of everyday life for gay people.
There are many gay men and women in and around Bundaberg.
How many of them do you see kissing and holding hands in the street? Or dressed in skimpy loin cloths and sequins?
The everyday lives of gay people are unremarkably similar to straight people.
If I watch the news and see a straight person being gaoled for molestation and murder, I don't then assume that's how all straight people must be.
It is important to remember, that the gay Mardi Gras serves as a reminder of the brutal injustice towards gay people (historically perpetuated by religion and fear of the unknown), and that gay people still do not have equal rights.
As for marriage, this was originally a construct by which a man could own a woman (aka slave, baby maker…) - that's why the woman changes her name to that of the man that owns her.
Fortunately, marriage has evolved, however, it would be an incredibly narrow view of marriage if its purpose is simply for a man and a woman to make children.
Today, many babies are born out of wedlock, and there are many married couples who choose not to (or are unable to) have children.
Marriage and procreation are two separate issues and should be treated as such.
Personally, I think the commitment of marriage should be made before having children, I also strongly support the concept of children having two parents, and of children having strong, loving, supportive male and female role models. I believe 'family' is incredibly important, but it does not need to fit into the box of 'mum, dad and 2.5 children'.
Marriage has evolved to be a public and legal declaration of love and support between two adults, and a promise to work at keeping that love and support alive.
Marriage is not (or should not) be just about sex and having babies.
Marriage is much more than that. It staggers me that so many straight people (and politicians) think that the love between same-sex couples is not as strong or as valid as hetero couples.
Some people tritely point out gay promiscuousness and that gay relationships don't last - but, to be fair, the statistics on lasting straight marriages aren't that flash, and research often fails to consider all the failed straight relationships and dalliances that occurred before straight people get married.
Politicians will keep voting "no" to gay marriage to avoid the massive amount of work they will be forced to do in order to amend legislation to be inclusive of gay couples (i.e. every reference to "man and woman"/"husband and wife" in state and federal laws, acts, regulations… would need to be amended - a long and tedious process, but it is the right and moral thing to do).
Marriage is about love and commitment: it is a legal, spiritual, emotional and often physical promise or contract.
The concept that marriage can only be between heterosexuals is just silly, but worse, that concept is based on centuries of ignorance, fear and narrow-mindedness.
What is marriage?
For thousands of years it has been a sacred union between a man and a woman, it has never been any other way.
A man and a woman fall in love, get married, bear children to carry on the human race, raise these children through their lives as loving parents (mum and a dad).
Now people are trying through the courts and politicians to alter the whole plan of life.
To have either two mums or two dads is not the way God planned it and it just does not work.
A child needs the love of both mother and father.
The adoption laws were always very strict, are they going to alter these laws to satisfy same sex marriage?
Just say a pair of males marry and adopt a daughter, who is going to educate her in the facts of life.
Are any of these children brought up in same sex marriages going to be allowed to follow their own sexuality or will they be forced to change.
If a couple of men or women are homosexuals, let them live in the same house as they do now but don't use the sacred word "marriage".
I, as a 78-year-old male and happily married for 52 years feel degraded by seeing two men kissing on TV and flaunting themselves at the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras each year.
Straight folk don't dress out in drag to belittle and degrade the human race.
Stop this rot before it is too late.
I have no problem with the homosexual ailment people, but I do have a problem with the way that some believe they are superior to the straight person and love to flaunt their sexuality.
KEITH W HOOPER
Are you in support of gay marriage?
This poll ended on 14 December 2013.
Yes - 81%
No - 18%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.