Jeremy: [as opposed to; symbolical] It's often said that if we change the law to recognise same sex marriage, this will give same sex couples what they want and it won't affect anyone else. I think that I speak for many supporters for traditional marriage when I say that what sets marriage apart from other loving relationships, is that a man and a woman are capable of having children together or at least normally they are, having as opposed to just raising them together. Now existing marriage laws in Australia symbolically reaffirm this understanding and reforming these laws would symbolically attack it. Is it not, therefore, fair to say that marriage equality - legalized marriage equality would send a negative symbolic message to people who share this traditional understanding of marriage.
as opposed to:
1. used to introduce something that is a contrast to or the opposite of the first thing mentioned;
2. used for referring to something that is very different from what you have just mentioned
1. characterized by or involving the use of symbols or symbolism;
2. used or considered as a symbol