It’s second vote day for the Marriage Equality Bill, & an old friend of mine has a few thoughts about that. The video Craig and his husband Marcel made, at the bottom of the post, is worth watching and sharing. Tell your elected representatives that love matters!
In the past I could not relate the idea of being gay to pride. I remember seeing gay pride campaigns and not understanding the connection between being gay and pride. I no more felt proud being a Kiwi or Pakeha or gay or having blue eyes for that matter. They are all simply ways of describing the attributes of who I am, they weren’t something I had earned, and therefore there was no way to be proud of them.
Today I have a better sense of what pride means. It’s not pride at what I’ve accomplished. It’s pride that I am entitled to and should be given the same respect as everyone else. It’s as simple as this: everyone is entitled to be respected for who they are and treated the same under the law. Some call it pride. I call it respect and civility.
Discrimination is a form of cancer in society. It causes people to feel disenfranchised and isolated, and reinforces ill-treatment of the target group. In my opinion, this prevents a society from ever reaching its full potential.
I know first hand what it was like to be bullied…relentlessly for being gay, and laws that discriminate against gay people indirectly and implicitly reinforce this behaviour. Young LGBT suicides are an absolute tragedy, as are any youth suicides. A society built on acceptance and respect instead of fear and discrimination nurtures and fosters our youth. We owe it to them. We owe it to ourselves.
We have been together now for 15 years, and I look forward to the day when the most interesting thing about that is not the fact we are a same-sex couple, but how it is that he has put up with me for this long.
I’m looking forward to the next 15 years, but this time being your NZ husband.
P.s. No Winston Peters, human rights are not a question of popular vote. Human rights are a question of entitlement and respect. Same-sex marriage is not impinging on the human rights of any other section of society and your job as an elected representative is to protect human rights, not to deflect attention away from the real point of the discussion: State-endorsed discrimination. Tsk tsk.
However, you know what? Even if it came to a popular vote, I have confidence Kiwis would support it.