OUR story on the possibility of Jervis Bay Territory potentially hosting gay weddings after legislation changes in the ACT attracted a storm of controversy and a heated online argument.
One of the strongest statements came from regular letter writer Rod Stanyer of Sanctuary Point, which appeared in our print edition on Wednesday.
In the letter, Mr Stanyer said, “I am a 71-year-old bushy and we gave gay chaps a bit of strife when we were young, then their treatment was modified to just leaving them alone, then it went to general acceptance of the gays”.
Response was quick from A Cooper of Callala – whose letter appears today, pointing out that while it sounded like fun for Mr Stanyer and his mates, it wasn’t “fun for the gay kid who feared for his life”.
One correspondent remarked online that it must be a slow news day for the Register to be publishing such a story, however, it appears there is a great deal of interest in the topic.
Online, the story attracted 20 comments, both for and against the idea.
Marriage celebrant Paul Meagher said he welcomed the change of law in the ACT, saying it would do “more than assist the Tourism Industry, it means equality in marriage for everyone”.
He said he had conducted hundreds of commitment ceremonies for gay couples and welcomed the opportunity for their union to finally be viewed as a proper marriage.
But “Nowra Girl” was not so impressed.
“Has anyone ever considered that maybe, just maybe, the entire Shoalhaven doesn’t back gay marriage? Just throwing it out there, maybe that played a silent part in why Kevin Rudd lost the election? I will never change my own traditional view what a wedding and marriage truly represents and I don’t see why my views and my traditions need to be changed because a minority group is forcing me to, in fear of discrimination.”
Another writer disagreed, saying “allowing same sex couples to get married will have no effect whatsoever on current marriages so you shouldn’t feel horrified. Instead you should feel elated that two people have managed to find happiness and comfort with each other, regardless of their sex”.
“Lilychan” wrote, “Our local tourist industry could sure do with the extra income. And anyone who is prejudiced against same-sex relationships should move back to the dark ages as they’d most likely be climate change deniers as well!”
“Heywood” responded, “Believe it or not, people are entitled to a point of view different to yours. It doesn’t make them ‘prejudiced’ or living in the ‘dark ages’.”
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