Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gay Marriage

Amerinz recent post on his civil union in New Zealand highlights how the law change in 2005 to allow same sex civil unions was an important step forward for equality for the gay and lesbian communities in New Zealand.

While a number of critics said only same sex marriage would be good enough this comment from Ameriz blog post summarises that the reality is that Civil Unions are effectively marriage and ultimately the law will change.
The interesting thing is that New Zealand society is clearly moving ahead of the law. No one we know is referring to this as a Civil Union: They’re referring to it as our wedding and say we’re getting married (even though, legally speaking, that’s not true). Because of that, I think that full marriage equality will come to New Zealand sooner rather than later.
Looking back over the news since 2005 records the comments  in 2006 of a number of conservative groups which opposed the Civil Union legislation.  They said the slow uptake of civil unions was a sure sign that the government was pandering to a small minority.

What is clear is that while the uptake may have been slow over time the numbers have slowly but surely increased. The important thing is that each civil union that does occur impacts not just the couple but also their friends and families. 

And as more occur in New Zealand ultimately legislation will be changed to allow same sex couples to choose civil unions or marriage.

Interesting Australia still has to take the next step to either civil unions or gay marriage and still seems to be struggling to make any real progress on the issue.

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