I almost wondered whether this second half was worth posting at all, but I can’t help but release the painful pressure in my heart. This is something I need to talk about and I can’t delay it any longer.

My take on the debate, after being bombarded from all sides with a hundred arguments, is that homosexual marriage should be permitted and that both sides should support it. I don’t want you to turn away from this post at this point, but bear with me.

First and foremost, homosexuality is not a choice. As mentioned above, people should not be penalised for being homosexual. They do, therefore, deserve the same legal protection as heterosexual couples. The right is correct – the present state of marriage was developed with the intention of fostering the growth of children. A homosexual marriage cannot ‘naturally’ produce children between the two spouses.

The right is correct in saying that the definition of marriage will change. The left are wrong in saying it will not. I say – who cares? It will shift somewhat, but I would say that the focus should be first and foremost on the nature of a family.

It’s a well-accepted fact that families can be childless. I would say that acceptance of homosexual couples here is based on acceptance for homosexuality itself. When it comes to children, the right frequently claims the importance of a mother and a father. I would say that this a sexist claim.

I’ll make this clear – you cannot claim that women and men are equal if you claim that a homosexual couple is not able to perform the same role as a heterosexual one. If a woman can perform the same job as well as a man, then two women should be able to rear a child as well as a man and a women, or two men.

If you don’t agree here, if you disagree that men and women are equal, or believe that homosexuality is wrong, you are being actively intolerant. If that is the case, perhaps it is you who needs to change, not the people who have no control over the way they are. Human beings should never be made to suffer for merely being different.

I do also want to cover the secularism side of things here. It is important to note that there is no explicit clause within the legalisation of same-sex marriage regarding its forced acceptance by religious groups. I do, however, agree that religious groups are right to be anxious that they may be forced to anyway, which would indeed be wrong. The thing is, certain exemptions are already given to official religious institutions. Anti-discrimination laws, however, do not cover businesses, which are in the secular domain. Religious institutions can continue to have their protections.

Now, at this point I’m sure that plenty of those on the left might be more than a little upset, but it is my opinion that religious freedoms ought to always be protected. That being said, religious opinions should not have direct bearing on secular laws. At the point that there is a disjunct between religious and secular moral opinions, lawmakers ought to err on the sight of permissiveness.

What do I mean here? Perhaps there is a law stating that the consumption of shellfish is illegal, based on certain religious groups claiming it is morally wrong. It might just so happen that people outside those groups have long since loved shellfish and want to make it legal to eat shellfish.

It should be legalised. Those with religious opinions can still choose to refrain from eating shellfish. Those who follow a different belief system (such as an atheistic one) can choose for themselves whether or not they should eat shellfish. Some of them might not like it anyway. Under no circumstances, though, should people who are religiously opposed to eating shellfish be forced to eat it.

Take the example of divorce. It may not have acceptance amongst many religious groups, but it is common in mainstream secular society. Religious institutions do not have to recognise divorce when it comes to remarrying either party in a marriage. Now substitute in same sex marriage. The same should carry. The same likely will carry.

The most important thing to remember, though, is that we all should be on the same side. We’re all humans, we’re all just trying our best, to work together for the best outcome. None of us want to hurt people, deep down. We all do what we feel is right.

So don’t judge people too harshly for their beliefs. Talk to people. Love people, whatever they think. Hate will not win debates any more than it can war or civil strife. Only love can do that. After all, this debate is about love.

Not intolerance. Not hate. Love.