In December, Labor’s national conference will debate the party’s policy on the vexed issue of amending the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry. Labor’s policy is currently one of opposition to this change, but it’s no secret that a large number of party members believe that the time has come to change our policy.

As a happily married Catholic male, I started out with a moderately conservative view on this subject. I’ve always been opposed to discrimination, including against gay and lesbian people. But I also support the institution of marriage and the nuclear family as the best place to raise children. I was not initially persuaded that the wording of the Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, should be changed.