My Take

Here’s why same-sex marriages are a good thing

Those who oppose the idea on grounds that it undermines the institution are choosing not to see that there is no such thing as a ‘traditional marriage’

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 May, 2017, 2:38am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 May, 2017, 2:38am

When you have hit middle age like me, you would have seen enough divorces, separations, infidelities, abuses and empty family shells among people around you to know that “traditional marriage” isn’t quite as advertised.

So when social conservatives and religious types defend the sanctity of marriage, I usually look on with a great deal of incomprehension. Do they mean concubines and mistresses and toy boys? Is that the kind of thing they are defending? Doing all these things is okay as long as a man and a woman keep up the facade of a marriage?

Apparently, a campaign has been launched by more than 27,000 individuals, 80 civil groups and five lawmakers to pressure the government to appeal against a High Court ruling that grants the benefits of a gay civil servant to his husband. This comes as Taiwan’s constitutional court has just ruled in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.

The campaigners are doing this because they claim the Hong Kong court judgment is the start of a slippery slope to recognising same-sex marriage, which is a threat to “traditional marriage”. I wonder why they pick on a civil servant and not some of our famous tycoons who openly parade their “wives”, girlfriends and mistresses – and their children and grandchildren out of wedlock – in front of our paparazzi?

It strikes me those tycoons are the ones who have been giving the finger to the ideal of “the traditional marriage”, whatever that is.

Landmark win for gay Hong Kong civil servant over husband’s benefits

The civil servant is trying to have a husband and form a family. Who is undermining “traditional values”? As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as traditional marriage, which ceased to exist after the collapse of the last Chinese dynasty, along with foot-binding. What people are usually talking about is the modern marriage. And yes, there are many threats to it – for example, people getting married later and later in life and eventually not at all. Homosexuality isn’t even the most serious threat.

People accuse gays of being promiscuous but when they want to commit to a legal union, they won’t let them. Au contraire, far from being a threat, same-sex marriage will actually strengthen the institution of marriage.

The next government should not appeal the judgment. It should move to legalise same-sex marriage to protect the further erosion of the family unit in the 21st century.