In the perfect physical embodiment of the gay marriage debate, a new book has been published putting the two opposing arguments into one reverse-side publication.
The work is part of the Why vs Why series being released by Pantera Press and covering contentious issues from nuclear power to sex.
Pantera Press publisher Alison Green said same-sex marriage was chosen as one of the first topics in the series — along with nuclear power — because of its divisive nature.
“It’s a hot issue. People are talking about it and it can really be quite hard to get information,” she told Sydney Star Observer.
“On nuclear power, for example, there is lots of information out there and I think it’s really accessible, but I think with something like gay marriage… when I’ve looked for information I’ve actually found it hard to find the different views out there.
“So in that regard it’s really important to look at it like this so people are informed from the start.”
Standing in opposing corners, long-time gay rights advocate Rodney Croome takes on Family Council of Victoria secretary Bill Muehlenberg in 59 pages and vice versa.
Muehlenberg argues marriage has traditional roots between a man and a woman which stem from bearing children and claims there is “little actual demand” for gay marriage. He talks about a “gay agenda” pushing the cause and he refutes equality claims.
Croome argues that without marriage rights gays and lesbians are not free and equal citizens, that they experience legal and social disadvantage as a result of the marriage ban, and that alternatives don’t offer equality.
Each author was allowed seven points to argue his case and had the chance to rebut the other in 10 pages.
Croome told Sydney Star Observer he hopes the book will have an impact on the debate.
“I wanted to show in contributing to the book that while the issue of same-sex marriage is about law and about love, it also has a wider historical, philosophical and international context,” he said.
“It is a serious issue not just for gay people, but for Australians, and if that message comes from this book then I’ll be happy.”
Green said she hopes the books, which will be available in bookstores across the country, will generate dinner table conversation.
“We’ve always been a family that loves internal debates and discussions. The concept itself stemmed from discussions we were having on general topics around our kitchen table.
“I found [on gay marriage] none of the [opposing] points ever seemed to match up. It was really hard if you don’t know about a topic or don’t have access to the information to work out where you sit.
“What we wanted to do with the series is make that information accessible for everyone.”
info: Why vs Why: Gay Marriage is out now. Visit www.whyvswhy.com