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Archbishop Likens Love In Same-Sex Relationships To Love Between Friends

The tone of the 'respectful' debate just dropped another decibel.

26/09/2017 8:03 PM AEST | Updated 26/09/2017 8:03 PM AEST

Strap yourselves in -- another outrageous interpretation of what it means to love in a same-sex relationship has come to light, this time from the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge.

In a television appearance with ABC News Breakfast on Tuesday, Coleridge decided he would go about clarifying for host Michael Rowland the different definitions of the word 'love' and how it can vary from one relationship type to another.

"The thing is there are many different forms of love, Michael. There's the love of a parent for child, child for parent, sibling for sibling, friend for friend, carer for the one cared for," he said.

"So there are many different kinds of love and they all have great value. But there's only one particular kind of love that we call marriage and that is the love between a man and a woman that is meant to be lifelong -- it often isn't of course -- and is meant to be open to children."

And with the true spirit of someone who has dug themselves into a hole and can only keep digging themselves deeper, it got worse from there.

The Archbishop then went on to say that, in terms of the idea of 'marriage equality', while any form of love is "profoundly human" he also believes that "every human being is equal but not all are all the same," -- comparing same-sex relationships to a relationship between a parent and a child or between siblings.

"Sibling marrying sibling has always been ruled out. People underage have been disqualified from marrying. But so, too, people of the same sex," he said.

"But that is not to say that they are not equal. It's simply saying that they are not the same and that they don't qualify for what we call marriage. So the phrase "marriage equality" was a brilliant piece of marketing."

Coleridge even told Rowland and his co-host Virginia Trioli that, even though same-sex couples are capable of loving each other as much as heterosexual spouses or partners do, in his eyes "that love is like the love of friends".

"It is love and it is valuable, but it's not, and it can't be, the kind of love that we call marriage. That's my point," he said.

And believe it or not, if you listen closely enough, it's almost like you can hear the collective sound of mass eye-rolling in motion at yet another person who doesn't seem to understand that same-sex couples are actually capable of being more than just 'friends'.

The comments bring back some far-too-fresh claims made by Liberal backbencher Kevin Andrews last month that likened same-sex relationships to the type of affection shared between "cycling mates" who catch up on the weekend.

And just like now, the social media roasting received by Andrews in August was just as savage.

The ill-founded comments made on the national broadcaster also delivered a recognisable sting for the LGBTQ community, who have been the subject of high rates of mental health issues and suicide in light of the postal survey process.

And mental health groups did warn about the potential mental health damage of a plebiscite or postal survey on same sex marriage.

A little more than a fortnight in to the federal government's $122 million survey and it seems few are untouched by the debate -- there has been abuse, death threats and even sackings. Sports codes are declaring their stances, politicians are manning call centres and neighbours are dropping notes and pleas to neighbours.

The tone of the debate has seen an increase in young people seeking help from mental health services, and there's still seven long weeks left until the survey results will be published on the ABS website on 15 November 2017, after ballots close in late October.

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