I read something from a a guy who was in favour of same-sex marriage but opposed to the current legislation being debated in Tasmania a while back.  He argued that all views opposed to same sex marriage where ipso-facto homophobic.  I disagreed.  I was hoping that he and I would be able to dialogue over the issue, but sadly I haven't received a response.  Below is a copy of the email I sent.  I offer it as my current thoughts on how to engage people in conversation over the issue.  What did I say well?  What could I have said better?

Hey Person X!

First of all thanks for putting your views out there for people like me to engage with.  I suppose it's difficult for two people who don't know each other to engage in debate and discussion, particularly via emails but we'll give it a shot and hopefully we can both come to an understanding of each others point of view.  I also apologise if I offend you in anyway.  I have no idea of your history, your wounds, your life story which no doubt informs the way all of us think about everything even in our best attempts to be completely rationale.

Let me state a few things up front.  I'm a Christian and so I have a worldview that is completely different to yours (this is a major assumption and I'm sorry if I have misread your or inferred in error here) and so my approach to life, morality, law etc. will be different.  Let me also say that I find much of the Christian rhetoric around the whole 'same-sex marriage' debate to be lacking a little.  The problem I think in the debate between Christians and others in this area of same sex marriage is that we are actually having a world-view discussion which is far bigger than should we let gay people get married.  I think Christians need to admit this more.  What I think Christians do, understandably, is attempt to argue their case on the terms of say the secular atheist and lose.  So we end up saying things like marriage is all about children and studies apparently show children need a mum and a dad etc.  However, far more compelling to my mind is painting the story that shapes all humanity.  We are God's created and special people whom God has redeemed through Jesus to live life in a new way.  In his way.  This is the best way to live, because it's the way we were created to live.  We are nervous about gay marriage because we see that our government is legalising a way of living contrary to how we should live.  The conversation we then need to have is not about same sex marriage or when the right time to have sex with your partner is or if you should have an abortion, rather it is a larger question of how you look at the world.  How you make sense of all the good and the bad things  that happen.  How you make sense of your life and its purpose etc.

Let me also say that I probably agree with you on one level.  If I adopted a secular, atheistic world view, I would agree there seems to be no rational argument against same sex marriage.  Though in my mind, following that logic through I think there should be nothing wrong with other forms of marriage either (eg. polygamy).  If it's an arrangement that consenting adults enter into (whether they be male, female, or multiple or whatever) then it should be legal.

However as I alluded to on Facebook I do take serious concern that those who disagree with you are homophobes.  I think that is simply an oversimplification.  I have worked with two homosexual men in the past.  We got along well, I love and respected them as people and think no less of them for their choices, even though I disagree with them.  But as a Christian I disagree with people's choices all the time.  I know people who've being greedy, who've lied, who've had sex before marriage.  Heck I've even done some of those things.  I don't hate myself, I don't hate those people.  The world is full of people (including every single Christian who has ever lived and who will ever live) who make wrong choices according to the Christian world-view.  But the Christian world-view is one that in a large part is built around dealing with all the wrong/bad/evil choices people have made.  As Christians we should be like God, who though he disagrees with many of our choices, choses to loves us and help us make new choices.

So do I think homosexuality is wrong?  Yes I do.  But I also think that people are more than their sexuality.  I also think that much of my own hetrosexuality is wrong and broken and in need of God's help in fixing.  My worldview tells me that every single person regardless of race, colour, religion or sexuality is a beautiful person, made in the image of God.  But my world view also tells me that every person is a broken person in need of the redemption of God.  It is far more complex than hatred of homosexuals.  Something which I would happily stand next to you and condem as would the God I believe in.

I look forward to continuing the discussion.