Saturday, 26 February 2011

Times: Same-sex unions
Wednesday, 23rd February 2011 by Christine Galea, Sliema

I am writing in response to the comments by Gabi Calleja (February 16), where she claims that in my article The Family in Europe Today (February 2) I made a number of assertions and claims, many of which were "dubious and unsubstantiated".

With reference to her first claim that there is "the rather generic reference to the decrease in the ability to reflect", I cannot deny that good education enables individuals to think critically and reflectively about their lived experiences, yet to a large extent, education is focused on simply getting students up-to-standard academically on the various aspects of the curriculum. I feel that there should be more tasks that encourage students to apply their newfound knowledge by thinking creatively and critically, hence providing them with opportunities for self-assessment and reflection.

Secondly, Ms Calleja questions whether I am implying that a "heterosexual married couple in (several countries) would consider their marital relationship of less worth, or love their spouse less because a same-sex couple next door could now get married?" She has interpreted my words beyond their meaning. I wrote: "The evolution of same-sex unions has dealt a blow to the family based on the conjugal bond" in the sense that it contributes to undermining marriage as an institution, and this is because same-sex marriage erodes the elements of the natural institution of marriage at its most basic level.

These basic elements purport that marriage is a union between a man and a woman who love and nurture one another for the purpose of mutual support and also for the procreation of children. Therefore, it follows that, at natural level, same-sex unions are not compatible with marriage.

In a similar vein, other elements common to natural marriage are unity, indissolubility and exclusiveness and these factors indicate that even divorce and adultery are not compatible with marriage in its natural form. With all due respect to Ms Calleja, it was never my intention to enter into a full-blown discussion on heterosexual vs same-sex marriage. Neither was I making disparaging references to same-sex marriages. This was not the aim of my article at all!

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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