In New Zealand, like in Illinois, gay and lesbian couples can have their relationships legally recognised in civil unions. In both jurisdictions, civil unions only offer some (not all) of the legal protections and rights a marriage would bring.
I refuse to get a civil union.
To me, the rights a civil union bestows on Noel and my relationship makes it a second-tier, second-class relationship. It’s as if the Government is saying, “We’ll try to placate you with most of the rights, but not all of the rights, of a straight, married couple.”
Sorry. I won’t put up with it.
If either Noel or I had any more spare energy (you know, after trying to rebuild the school after the quakes and [still] fighting Government bureaucracy), we would help the fight for marriage equality in New Zealand. In another way, I feel we did our bit by helping with immigration reform for gay and lesbian couples in New Zealand.
As I type this, both the New Zealand Parliament and Illinois lawmakers are considering legalising gay marriage, which is a huge step in the right direction.
There will be those who argue against gay marriage, trying to tie it to their religious beliefs, but what it comes down to is that the Government (which is not linked to any specific religion) is there to protect the rights of all its citizens and ensure they are treated fairly in the eyes of the law, not in the eyes of the Christian God, or the Hindu Gods, or whatever Gods you may or may not believe in.
And while we’re at the argument of religion, no one religion owns marriage. They do not get to claim a monopoly on it. Marriage pre-dates some religions, which shows it has always been more of an act of civilisation no matter what the dominant religion in the region than a religious act alone.
The cartoon above speaks about the “sanctity of marriage”. If it’s so holy, why do those spouting off that it is a religious rite alone allow people like Kim Kardashian and Brittany Spears to make a mockery of it?
As humans understand more and more about themselves, we have come to accept scientifically that LGBT people are naturally that way, just like the rest of the animal kingdom has LGBT animals in it. If two male ducks can mate for life, and none of their fellow ducks seem to have a problem with it, why can’t two human men in love with one another and have that relationship recognised legally by human society?
This struggle for gay marriage is about giving Noel and me the same legal protections, reassurances, and opportunities for my life and my future as those my straight brothers and his straight brother and straight sister have. We pay our fair share of taxes; we should have our fair share of rights.
Several state and federal governments around the world are starting to realise this and are now starting to afford our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters around the world the right to marry.
I urge New Zealand and Illinois to join those ranks next.