Opposition to the Civil Unions legislation in the ACT by John Howard is yet another example of interfering conservative religious views. These should remain a quaint obsession between consenting adults in private.

There is no sign of concern for the negative consequences of a continual denial of lesbian and gay equality. Financial discrimination, emotional hardship, physical harm and death result from these stereotype utterances from the highest levels of government.

It is a travesty of natural justice when people who love, respect each other, live good lives and are productive members of society must take a back seat to the particular religious indoctrination of certain politicians.

There is a considerable weakening of democracy once officialdom kowtows to destructive views supported only by unevidenced religious hyperactive imagination. The primary concern of civil unions or indeed, marriage, is that two people are willing to commit legally as an expression of partnership. The warped religious emotional baggage of the self-righteous has no place in the equation.

Spokesperson for the Atheist Foundation of Australia, president, David Nicholls added: “Same sex bigotry originated in the days where sexual ignorance and superstition were in colusion. Most intelligent and educated people recognise this inescapable fact. Who doesn’t, is deluded.”