What next?

We need to talk and we need to listen. We need to be part of a conversation on this issue. We need to think this through. We need to explain why we think God’s gift of marriage is so good. To our friends. To our neighbours. To the LGBTI community and, yes, to members of parliament. And we need to listen to and respect those who hold a different view.
What we don’t need to do is be naïve or alarmist. That helps no one. If same-sex marriage becomes law, we shall still be under the hand of our sovereign and loving heavenly Father. And many of the changes above will not happen directly and immediately. Yes, there will be consequences that will follow. Same-sex marriage may well function as the breach in the wall that allows the flood of the equality movement into many new areas. The potential for serious threats to churches, schools, Christian organisations and people of faith is real and urgent. But we know there are millions of Christians who live under these very threats and worse around the world. We may soon be sharing in their struggle to live out the faith, without the freedoms we currently enjoy.
None of this has to happen, of course. No laws have yet been passed. And they don’t have to be. What does have to happen is a more sophisticated and robust discussion about living with our different points of view. How are we to live together with our deepest differences? How can civic discourse be promoted? How can we disagree well? These values of a classical liberal democracy are what will allow our message to be heard – that God’s plan for marriage brings great good. And it’s a good thing to uphold.

How are you going to respond?