Correspondent is selective about Bible prohibitions
I wish to question a number of points made by Paul Kokoski in his letter ('Same-sex marriage defies Bible and science, January 31), written in response to a letter by William Yip ('Gay and lesbian couples want equal protection under the law', January 24).
Mr Kokoski claims that 'homosexuality is abnormal behaviour from a religious and scientific perspective'. He goes on to state that 'it is morally detrimental' for children to be brought up by homosexual parents, according to the Bible and science.
Hong Kong is a secular democracy and I fail to see why religion should play a part in politics here. For example, Leviticus - the book in the Bible that bans male homosexuality - also warns against coming into contact with menstruating women and eating shellfish. I imagine the latter takes place often in Hong Kong, despite what the Old Testament may say.
In any case, although marriage may have its origins in religion, the legal status that married couples enjoy is granted to them by our government. Failure to accord the same status to same-sex unions - which are at the moment not legally recognised in Hong Kong - would therefore be discriminatory in principle.
Furthermore, despite mentioning that there are scientific reasons as to why same-sex couples should not raise children, Mr Kokoski merely claims that for homosexual couples to raise a child would be 'intrinsically disordered', citing as evidence the fact that 'no replicated scientific study, for example, has ever found a gay gene or gay DNA'.
If Mr Kokoski is implying that a child raised by homosexual parents would somehow 'turn out' to be homosexual or for any reason be a victim of bad parenting, I would like to refer him to case No S147999 of the Supreme Court of the State of California in September 2007, in which a number of psychiatric institutes assert that same-sex parents are no better or worse at parenting than heterosexual couples.
Furthermore, Mr Kokoski claims that children 'do better at school, live healthier lives, and become better contributors to society when raised by both a mother and a father in the same household'. Are we to outlaw divorce or single parenting on these grounds?
Sebastian Milan, Sheung Wan
Bigotry greater threat than sexual orientation
Paul Kokoski makes some brutally stark assertions regarding the quality of life for children raised by same-sex partners ('Same sex marriage defies Bible and science', January 31).
His claim that these children are 'scientifically proven' to underachieve in education masks the fact that most same-sex families are composed of adoptive or fostered children - a group which even within 'typical' families tend to encounter greater difficulties in education compared to those from a 'normal' family background.
I am a heterosexual male and have a good circle of homosexual and heterosexual friends. Given that the homosexuals I know behave in as acceptable a way in social situations as the heterosexuals I know, I can only speculate that when Mr Kokoski refers to the 'damaging lifestyle' led by homosexuals, he refers literally to the physical and communicative expression of love between parents.
What other general differences are there between a heterosexual couple who devote their lives to one another and a homosexual couple who do the same?
Where does the damage he speaks of occur? When the child witnesses his fathers or mothers kissing - or when people like Mr Kokoski imprint their fears and prejudices on these families and exacerbate wider social prejudice, which results in the stigmatising of the same-sex family?
Gavin Craw, Tin Shui Wai
Marriage kinder for children
Governments mistakenly tend to compare married couples to unmarried couples living together. Experts of the US publication The Marriage Index agree on the following statement: 'Marriage goes beyond a simple private relationship between two adults: it is a social good with serious implications for their children's welfare'.
Although the number of couples living together is constantly increasing, their bond is more fragile. Also, 50 per cent of their children will suffer from their parents' separation, compared with 15 per cent of those children issuing from marriage, as this is accepted as a lifelong commitment.
Clara Jimenez, Spain
Democratic structures embody Christianity
The new law requiring the democratisation of school administration is sound public policy. It makes no sense for people in a democratic society not to enjoy their freedoms and protections in private, as well as public, institutions.
The Diocese of Hong Kong has nothing to fear from democratisation of its school system. There is nothing in the Bible or Christian theology requiring that church institutions be modelled on 4th-century Roman law. In fact, democratic structures embody more fully Christian teachings about the dignity of the individual.
Compliance with the law would do much to bring the church into the modern world.
William DuBay, Ap Lei Chau
Yum cha has a place in everyone's heart
In recent years, 'heritage conservation' has rolled off the tongue of every historian, socialist and politician.
As the world has undergone rapid technological changes, people's lives have become more modernised. Much traditional cultural heritage has been made obsolete unavoidably. Nevertheless, in the transition from the old to the new, some valuable intangible heritage should be conserved.
The one I think it is most crucial to preserve is the Chinese tradition of yum cha.
Yum cha shows the tastes of our citizens. Translated literally from Cantonese, dim sum denotes choosing your favourite dishes. A wide variety of dim sum is on offer during the Cantonese-style yum cha. The dishes are generally divided into two categories, sweet or savory. Yum cha can enhance relationships between family members. Living in a metropolis with both Chinese and Western cultures, there are many different types of cuisines, yet many citizens enjoy yum cha every weekend.
Ida Wong, Wong Tai Sin
Not only dogs lack specialists
Pamela Ng lamented the lack of specialist treatment for her dog's cataracts ('Need for specialist veterinary services', January 31).
It would be illuminating if the Post were to investigate how many human members of our community rely on Hospital Authority services, and the extent to which their treatment or referral for treatment is delayed, as well as their access to the most up-to-date drugs.
The problem of health care financing seems to have been put into the 'too hard' basket with no hope of being resolved. It was originally suggested that the funding issue had to be addressed because of the impending ageing of the population.
The fact is, though, that the Hospital Authority is already struggling to provide the services that its patients need.
Rachel Cartland, Mid-Levels