Letters to the editor | August 23

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Some of the 1997 Mt Carmel High School students at the Royal Hotel on August 19 as part of their 20-year reunion. Photo: Supplied.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Some of the 1997 Mt Carmel High School students at the Royal Hotel on August 19 as part of their 20-year reunion. Photo: Supplied.

Marriage equality would make a big difference

A vote yes means little to those who aren't same sex attracted but makes a big difference to those who are.

A vote yes means no change to church weddings (if the church doesn't want it to) but it means that all married couples have the same piece of legal paper issued by the State. 

A vote yes means that should you be married already that you will remain so but those who can't because of gender can now have the same rights as you. 

A redefinition of marriage is no different than any other redefinition of issues that society decides it's ready to change: like redefining who can vote, who can no longer be held as a slave or who has access to education. 

A vote yes for marriage equality will result in the same things happening in other countries that have passed this legislation. LGBTQI people getting married. That's it. 

Tanya Henshaw, Yass

Pollies abdicate role on marriage equality 

What is going on in Australia that we have a government that refuses to govern, to make a decision to legislate gay marriage? 

That in this instance, asks of the public to be judge and jury on this topic, to say "yes" or "no" with funds it seems it does not have the authority to use for this purpose. 

I believe 'reflection' is possibly what we all need to indulge in to discover for ourselves where we stand with what is going on. 

With a High Court challenge lodged against the government's $122 million postal plebiscite in a bid to stop the postal vote going ahead, it is perceived that it does not fall within the power of the government to do so unless the parliament authorises it. 

My reflection is that we don't need to change our constitution, we need to change the Marriage Act. It is the parliament's job to that. Why are they asking us what to do?

When I first arrived in Laggan with my same sex partner, the community response to us was not one of judgement for our sexual preference, they merely enquired whether I was the sculptor and my partner the writer. I found it so refreshing at the time to be defined by passion rather than my sexual preference.  I felt proud to be part of a community that had its values based not on morality but creativity.

My New Zealand partner and myself, originally from South Africa, have found our local community to be non biased, welcoming, tolerant, compassionate, loving and embracing our partnership. Is love not the glue and compassion, not the paste that holds the glue together?  

My reflection is that we don't need to change our constitution, we need to change the Marriage Act and it is the parliament's job to do that. We are not meant to be judge and jury on the issue of same sex marriage due to parliament's refusal to legislate. What is going on?

Anna Pye, Laggan

Economic advantage at expense of local businesses

I write to express my disappointment with Yass Valley Council’s response to a proposal to build a service station and fast food outlets on the Hume Highway at Bowning.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment passed the proposal onto Yass Valley Council with a view to the council amending permitted uses of rural lands.

Current rules expressly forbid building service stations on rural lands.

While the proposal has yet to be formally endorsed by the council, its response to the proposal is clear: that is, the development will go ahead.

The proposal rationalises the development on the basis of economic advantages to the district.

While the development will lead to jobs for a few people, it will likely do much more for a couple of large international conglomerates at the expense of local businesses.

Graeme Evans, Yass

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