I strongly suggest that Jon Kehrer and P.F.McNay (Letters, September 23) educate themselves on the latest statistics. A poll by Galaxy Research conducted in 2012 demonstrated that 64 per cent of Australians support marriage equality. A previous Galaxy Research survey completed in August 2011 found that of the Christians surveyed 53 per cent believed that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. It appears that both writers prefer to ignore this research and instead make unsupported arguments that have no legitimate foundation.
I find it deplorable that Kehrer attempts to speak on behalf of Australian Christendom. As Kevin Rudd has so eloquently stated, the fundamental principle of the New Testament is one of universal love. This principle is severely lacking in Kehrer's letter. It is mind-boggling that Kehrer believes that same-sex couples are ''self-indulgent'' and ''corrupt''. This type of argument is focused purely on scaremongering; it is irrational and unsubstantiated. Same-sex couples, and indeed all members of the LGBTI family, are not evil. They are contributing and productive members of the Canberra community.
Finally, let me be clear, laws that prejudge people because of their race, religion, disability, age, sexuality or gender identity are discriminatory. It is time to amend the marriage laws and institute marriage equality.
It is time that people like these two writers start treating other members of their community with greater compassion.
Liam McAuliffe, Lyneham
There's no logic to it
Here we go again, another round of conservative, religious bigotry badly disguised as logic and science. It would be funny if it weren't so serious and obnoxious. As a 52-year-old married man, I'm still trying to work out how the marriage of two same-sex people who love each other will undermine my relationship with my wife.
There's the ''marriage is for procreation'' line. Do its supporters oppose the marriage of people beyond child-bearing age, like elderly Christians for example? Don't forget the ''gay marriage leads to polygamy'' risk. I don't know anyone who wants another spouse (or would be allowed to have one) and by way of evidence I offer a straw poll of my mates at a barbecue recently.
And then there's the just plain nasty, suggesting that gay people, simply because of their sexuality, are unfit to have children. Those who believe this should remember the child abuse perpetrated by so many straight clergy for so long to see where evidence of the real danger lies. It might help their case if all these self-appointed do-gooders shared the evidence they presumably have with us heathens - come on, ante up. At least there's hope though, with so many Trinity students railing against these appalling schools of thought. Well done, kids!
Richard Roberts, Farrer
Seeking to protect
As an Australian Christian Lobby member - I was saddened by comments in your article, ''Gay marriage letter sparks Trinity students' fury'' (September 24, p2). Neither the letter to the Trinity parents nor any other movement by a Christian group I am aware of has anything to do with hating or attacking homosexuals. It's a popular, convenient interpretation used by those who seek to muddy the waters of the whole ''marriage equality'' debate. We Christians who stand for the sanctity of marriage as being between a man and woman are seeking to protect something, not destroy or malign others - although we ourselves are frequently attacked and maligned because of this.
Your article quoted a student as saying the Bible calls on people to love one another. He is correct. This is a command from God often used against Christians in this debate (most publicly in recent times by Kevin Rudd), yet those who quote it conveniently overlook that God also provided other statutes to observe. It is among these, found in the New and Old Testaments, that rule out the sanctification before God of a union of any type other than that between a man and woman.
God loves all people. No exclusions. Christians are called on to mirror that love to this world, but that does not include supporting or acquiescing to attempts by any part of society that seeks to undermine what the Bible clearly says.
Peterson Collarde, Holder
French lead the way
I was interested to read Lesley Kemeny's article about nuclear energy (''The PM needs real experts'', Times2, September 23, p4). However there was no mention about what is going on at the Centre d'etudes de Cadarache, just south of Manosque in Provence. In that very large, well guarded area, I'm told, scores of scientists are working on means of improving the delivery of nuclear energy, eliminating many of the problems. People in the area tell me that, by 2020, the world will be lining up for the technology being created there. There are websites on the Cadarache, but nobody here seems to know anything about it. Perhaps it is about time we did.
Eric Wiseman, Moruya, NSW
It would appear that Joff Lelliott ("Voters put off by seat names with no sense of place", September 2, p5) is suggesting that reference to our history, by naming federal electorates after historically important figures, should be deleted because the electors are confused as to where these particular electorates are and after whom they are named.
Maybe the real problem is that Australian history is no longer taught as a general subject and therefore our only readily identifiable historical figure is Ned Kelly, an outlaw and murderer.
One that I can shed some light on is the electorate of Lyne, recently made infamous in some eyes by its member Rob Oakeshott. This electorate is named after my grandfather, Sir William Lyne, premier of NSW at the time of Federation. He, being the premier of the most senior state at that time, was invited to form the first federal government by the then Queen's representative, Lord Hopetoun. As it turned out, he was unsuccessful in gaining enough support, and Edmund Barton was elected.
George Lyne, Kingston
Light rail to airport a way to fix Gungahlin line disaster
Stephen Byron (''Airport call to extend light rail'', September 24, p1) proposes including the Canberra Airport in a ''light rail loop'' . If he is to be taken seriously, he should be offering to take the proposed Gungahlin train line disaster and build it to the airport. As for people flocking to live on a train line, thereby lowering costs to the ACT government, that borders on the ludicrous. Information drawn from the Legislative Assembly and previously reported in The Canberra Times showed the proposed Gungahlin line was in any event an economically worse option than the present ACTION buses.
That should be telling Canberra Airport management something.
Michael Doyle, Fraser
Sensibly, the light rail loop favoured by the Canberra Airport owners should be instead of, not as well as, the Gungahlin-City line. Our town centres are well interconnected by fine and more flexible bus services, using first-class roads with many dedicated lanes. And bus routes can pass through new ''land-capture'' areas for mutual economic development/benefit.
Instead of using the converging Kings and Commonwealth avenue bridges, and expensively wandering off to Fyshwick (can you guess why?), the inner-city route suggested by the airport owners should cross the lake at Griffin's missing crossings at the Russell-Hume Circle axial Causeway (better serving Kingston Foreshores and the nearby proposed Eastlake development), and between Lennox Gardens and Acton Peninsula (including the National Museum and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies).
The Acton crossing would be arched to allow yachts to pass under, and have a fine, elevated peninsula station. The Causeway, if it's not to be Griffin's brilliant six-metre-high water-aerating weir creating his vast, missing East Lake, should be a long-span trestle, tangential to and respecting the existing wetlands (also an attraction for passengers). The new crossings should be for light rail, pedestrians and bikes only.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Repeat of history
I note our new federal government has wasted no time in reorganising the deckchairs. First, sack a few high-profile public servants and then disband or amalgamate bodies you'd rather didn't get in your way. Next, justify the withholding of information on the grounds of ''we know what's good for you'' and conveniently accept the resignation of those who, quite understandably, don't particularly like your agenda.
Scholars of global history wouldn't need to look back too far to find unnerving examples of regimes that took such actions very early in their time in power, and I hazard a guess it wasn't towards a more tolerant and moderate style of government.
Ian De Landelles, Hawker
It's quite extraordinary that Robert Willson (Letters, September 25) can still use the discredited claim of our ''generous refugee resettlement'' as an excuse to torture refugees who come here and ask for protection, but only those who are genuine refugees and can't get visas to fly here.
It is partly due to the lazy polity and partly lazy media that after 13 years of the claim being shown to be a lie, it is still be peddled by fools.
The refugee convention does not cover resettlement of refugees who have the protection of other nations, only those who do not yet have protection of any country. No refugees in the neighbourhood have durable protection, so a small number come here; that is their legal right. It's all there on the UNHCR website.
Marilyn Shepherd, Angaston, SA
Turning back rights
An essential ingredient for a healthy democracy is the people's right to know what their government is doing in their name. The announcement by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison that information will be withheld about vessels carrying asylum seekers is an insult to our democratic system. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the tactic of ''turning the boats around'' is irrelevant. Mr Morrison has sought to present this decision as necessary on the grounds of defence operational requirements.
This is nonsense. We are not at war. To use defence forces to hide government actions from public scrutiny is cowardly and shameful.
An attack on the public's right to know is, inextricably, also an attack on the right to speak out in protest.
It indicates a disturbing authoritarian mindset. Coming so early in the life of this government, it might be just the start of a long downwards progression. What we tolerate now we might find cannot be reversed.
Paul McMahon, Isaacs
Thank you for your spot-on editorial ''Abbott stops the transparency boat'' (Times2, September 23, p2).
I now understand what the government meant when it said it ''will stop the boats''. We will stop hearing about them. Out of sight, out of mind. This contempt for the Australian people will surely have the reverse effect. When something is secret people only want to know more. Hasn't Immigration Minister Scott Morrison heard of social media spreading the message?
I highly recommend the marvellous documentary Mary Meets Mohammad to anyone who is in any doubt of the effect of long-term detention on our refugees.
Penny Moyes, Hughes
Harbouring water fears
A report released this week, Draining the lifeblood: the impact of Galilee Basin coalmining on groundwater resources, highlights the potentially devastating impacts on groundwater resources from proposed new coalmines in the Galilee Basin, Central Queensland. It finds that an amount equivalent to 2½ ''Sydney Harbours'' of groundwater could be lost as a result of water being pumped out or drained by the 34 open-cut pits and 11 underground mines. There is also the possibility of interference with the Great Artesian Basin.
Let's see what the new Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, has to say about this.
Jenny Goldie, Michelago, NSW
Parroting Lockheed not very meaningful
Nicholas Stuart (''The problem with our new fighters is our deficit'', Times 2, September 24, p5) justifying his paid trip to the US, courtesy of Lockheed Martin, does little more than repeat its spruik about what a good buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is.
By his own admission he ''is not competent to judge what I've seen and heard'' but credits himself with ''independent journalism (for which this column is renowned)''. Independent probably, but is it meaningful?
He makes no comment nor expresses any opinion of his own. He merely repeats the glowing comments of those he met and thought better informed.
The F-35 may be an excellent point defensive fighter aircraft, with highly classified state of the art electronic systems, but a strike aircraft it is not. With its limited range (little more than 1000 nautical miles), limited performance (barely supersonic in after-burner) and limited weapons carrying capability it does not qualify as the replacement for the F-111 it was purported to be. Perhaps that is why it is now usually referred to as the F-18 replacement. The F-35 may be good, as Nicholas Stuart says, but does it adequately meet our needs? If not then the question remains: are we getting value for our money?
A. Wilkinson, Gowrie
So what's new?
So the new Pope is to reduce emphasis on sexual matters (''Pope to church: take off blinkers'', September 21, p11).
Are we to look forward to liberalising the rules that have been such a difficulty for married Roman Catholics?
It was a truism that ''you could tell a Catholic family by the large number of children''.
To use a contraceptive is a confession and promising not to do that again.
Then the wonderful ''morning after'' pill arrived, instantly to be ecclesiastically outlawed.
So what has Pope Francis now decreed? RU486 OK? Condom use promoted in starving overcrowded Africa?
Or carry on as before and live in obedience or sin?
Jack Palmer, Watson\
TO THE POINT
CLICK AND MISS
When Greg Hunt emailed me to say ''Unfortunately emissions go up not down under the carbon tax,'' I went to the Clean Energy Future website to check. I tried to open the PDF document ''How Australia's carbon price is working - one year on'' only to find it is damaged. How convenient for Mr Hunt and how worrying for our community. Will the government's next step be to close the website down and suppress all the information?
Rosemary Walters, Palmerston
A WIN FOR CLIMATE
The Climate Commission has become the Climate Council. Oh, how I love that. What a brilliant example of people power and determination. Well done and keep up the good work of good independent climate information. This does help to balance so many negatives in this first week of LNP governance.
Judy Angus, Ainslie
Ross Gittins (''New bunch lacking in ideas'', Times2, September 25, p4) notes that Tony Abbott seems to think that having a Coalition government will fix our problems. Ross, having Labor in power, handing out the lollies, was the problem. That is fixed. Expect that further change will consist of changing the names of things and banging on about standards.
S.W. Davey, Torrens
TRAPS KILL, FULLSTOP
Cliff Peady (Letters, September 24) wants to ban the sale of yabby traps - not because they are used to kill yabbies but because they may accidentally kill ''air-breathing animals''. Why should sentient air-breathers have a higher moral value than sentient water-breathers?
Mike O'Shaughnessy, Spence
POLLUTION FOCUS FIRST
Australia's election has shown that climate change and global warning are esoteric terms of little obvious importance to the public. In contrast, pollution is something every thinking person can understand, appreciate and, most importantly, choose to do something positive about. It is obvious to me, a veteran geologist, that scientific research in Australia and worldwide would be more useful if it were concentrated on how to deal with man-made pollution rather than on inevitable future climate changes.
David Blake, Scullin
FIX AIR SERVICES
With Jetstar and Tiger domestic airlines not available at Canberra Airport, nor any international flights, not to mention ACTION buses, the owners should be focusing on their lack of service offerings, rather than any future tram schemes (''Airport call to extend light rail'', September 24, p1).
Steven W. White, Canberra City
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