The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Keeping on talking about marriage equality

I almost can’t find anything to write about the Marriage Equality Bill which is now before New Zealand’s Parliament. Not because I don’t think it’s important! It’s a vital step in making sure that all New Zealanders have access to all services provided by the state, in this case, the recognition of the status of their relationships as valid. If the state is going to register marriages for some New Zealanders, then it shouldn’t be telling other New Zealanders that they’re not good enough to be married. To me, the arguments in favour of marriage equality are so obvious, and so well rehearsed, that it almost seems pointless to go through them again. And now that the Prime Minister has said that he will support the bill, it seems very likely that it will pass.

But over at The Hand Mirror, Luddite Journo makes a very powerful argument for keeping on speaking out and talking and writing and making a great clamouring for marriage equality.

Queer people will have to listen to homophobes telling us there is something wrong with loving someone of the same gender, that “homosexual relationships” are not normal. This will be painful and horrifying and dangerous for queer people in ways it will be difficult to describe to our straight friends. …

For that gay kid coming out in Te Awamutu, this debate will be terrifying. For that closeted bisexual public servant, this debate will be painful. For that lesbian who wants to leave the church and her husband with her children, this debate will be life-threatening. For all of us who don’t look like the gender norms we’re supposed to, this debate will be dangerous.

The bigots are out in force already, shouting their nasty words in the newspapers and on-line. We need to get the other stories out there, to take apart each horrid claim, to show the sheer absurdity of the anti marriage equality arguments.

So with that thought in mind, here’s a post I wrote a few years ago, in support of marriage equality: On marriage for lesbian and gay and other non-traditional couples.

Or you could take yourself over to Ideologically Impure, where the Queen of Thorns has a great series of posts:
Merv Duffy is wrong, dangerous, and unnecessary
Colin Craig: why is anyone listening to this dude, again?
“Those people” are a “problem” – gosh the Nats love their revealing language
Protect marriage! No, really

And across the Tasman, BlueBec has some great opinions: Strapping on the ranty pants – Marriage Equality edition (again)

And that reminds me of the one sad lack in the current campaign for marriage equality – it’s all about couples, and only couples. It would be good if it covered polyamory too. However, just as I supported civil unions even though I wished it went all the way to marriage equality, I will support this bill, of course, and then wait until we can take the next step.
Cross posted

5 responses to “Keeping on talking about marriage equality

  1. Moz August 2, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I think the poly stuff will come, but it’s incremental. Just having queer parents is pushing things towards recognising more than two parents, and that will introduce more people to the idea. Etc. The model with modern marriage[1] is more that parents break up and repartner, so there’s not the same “three or more people who love each other very much” going on.

    [1] as distinct from traditional marriage where concubines and affairs are more commonly used, modern marriage allows divorce. Which, at the time, was considered a radical redefinition and presaged the collapse of society and all the rest. Wolf! Wolf, I say, wolf!

    • Hugh August 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

      “Just having queer parents is pushing things towards recognising more than two parents, and that will introduce more people to the idea”

      I’m sceptical about that, actually. A lot of the gay marriage activists I know, both queer and straight, seem quite messianic about the idea of a two-person marriage as the natural endpoint and/or most evolved form of human relationships. They would presumably be very anti polyamory.

      Not to say legal polyamory won’t come but I don’t think it’s necessarily going to come on the back of same-sex marriages.

      • Moz August 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm

        My experience of gay marriage activists is similar but I’m not basing my expectations on them, or what they’re saying now. There’s also the political point that the anti crowd regularly use poly marriage as a bugbear in their slippery slope arguments. So it makes sense to say “no, no, not that” in response. Longer term there will eventually be a generation of activists for whom gay marriage is just something they’ve always known, and they’ll focus on other inequalities.

        What I’m looking at right now is the gay parents I know and how their kids work. Also the donor kids that I know (and there is increased visibility of those kids too). What I’m seeing is more kids who have more than two parents and are socially accepted as such. Even more so than the common step-parent thing that’s gone beyond accepted to pretty much expected.

        My nephew is closer to his donor dad than he is to me, and I suspect will be calling him dad before long unless the dad or the nephew’s mothers work to stop him. Looking at history, he’s similar to a godparent in many ways. For that matter, a friend who has 11 kids by 8 different mothers (tabloid alert!) gets called ddad or donordad by some of them. Admittedly because they think it’s cool to do that rather than because they actually regard him as a father figure. I’ve met them in the context of “outings with the donor dad” and it’s notable to me that some of them bring friends along. Which means the friends, and the parents of those friends, know about and accept the relationship.

  2. Pingback: Update for Thursday 2 August | Protect Families

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