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One of them is this: if the Marriage Act changes, this is not the end of the world for me. I am more distressed by our inattention to children in detention, or our national greed problem, than by the possibility that the definition of marriage might be changed.Another is that I stand adamantly against the bullying and vilification of people of minority sexual identities.He has said: It's time for our laws to reflect the values of modern Australia and to include everyone as equals ... And these same terms make opposing a redefinition of marriage sound primitive and even barbaric.There are those in favour of change, we are told, and then there are the bigots.Neither does the support of TV stars, comedians, or even Bono. It is not even the case that "all the surveys say Australians want it" is a sufficient argument.The surveys say that Australians want capital punishment.It is crucial to notice that the proposed revision of marriage laws involves exactly that: a revision of marriage.In order to offer the status of marriage to couples of the same sex, the very meaning of marriage has to be changed.

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It is, or is intended as, a life-long union between two people who exemplify the biological duality of the human race, with the openness to welcoming children into the world.

Instead of the particular orientation of marriage towards the bearing and nurture of children, we will have a kind of marriage in which the central reality is my emotional choice. The revisionist case has not provided a clear and reasonable definition of marriage beyond saying that if two people want to call their relationship by that name, they should be able to by choice.

Now, having put that opinion forward, I fully recognise that there are many people of intelligence and good will who disagree. What I do hope is that my contribution here will not be derided as bigoted or homophobic out of hand, but that it will be seen as part of a civil discussion.

Could it be that if you haven't heard the case opposing a change to the marriage law, it is because the language of those advocating it has been so emotive that the contrary case can't be heard above the noise?

Could it really be said that a civil disagreement has taken place? I would like to make the case for traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman; but to do so with some important qualifications.