Peter Hartcher is right that the legal definition of marriage ‘has not stood since time immemorial’ (‘An Australian tradition we need to remember’, 23/9), but what has remained constant is the nature of marriage itself. Although it is not true of every individual person, in general human beings are monogamous, and rightly so, because that is the best and safest way for children to be successfully raised to maturity. That is what the churches and their biblical doctrine are defending.

     Australia does not have a ‘proud progressive tradition’ in this context. The increased number of divorces and separations, leaving children without one or both parents in the family home, that has occurred in recent years is not progress but retrogression, resulting partly from foolish legislation. Let’s not compound the error.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic