I expect that you, dear reader, are such a person. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of marriage equality, I imagine that we share the same basic moral values and concerns. Hopefully that means we can have an amicable discussion, and that we're able to thoughtfully consider alternative views, and be willing to reformulate our opinions when logic and evidence requires us to do so.
I'm a supporter of marriage equality. I claim no special expertise or authority on the subject, but do consider myself reasonable and well-informed. The arguments in favour of same-sex marriage seem to me to be stronger and better supported than those against it. Of the latter, there are a few objections that I hear quite often, and would like to briefly address here.
The concept of marriage is neither narrow nor uniform. It can signify a social contract, a religious ordinance, a political arrangement, a historical tradition, an economic expediency and much else besides. It is frequently claimed that marriage is primarily a way of recognising the procreative potential of a man and woman, and that might be true. This does not, however, lead us to deny marriage to couples who are infertile, elderly, or choose not to have children.
As a society, we recognise that child-rearing is just one of the many reasons that a couple may choose to get married. For a lot of people, marriage is primarily a public declaration of a couple's mutual love and commitment to remain with each other. The legal status of a relationship is not tied to its ability to produce children.
Removing discrimination from marriage laws and making them more inclusive in the past did not destroy the institution's value, and it is hard to imagine why it would do so now.
Unless we have good reason to suppose that same sex marriage would cause harm to other people, we have no justifiable basis for preventing it under the law. Moral instruction is the responsibility of families and communities, not governments.
The best way to protect churches is to commit more fully to the principles of free thought, speech and action. If anything, marriage equality serves to reinforce those freedoms, not threaten them.
If you oppose marriage equality, and one or more of the objections above were part of your justification, I hope I've given you pause to think. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.