Banter in the Garden
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Tea and Strumpets
This is a slightly weird day for me. Today, something I’ve been fighting for for years is going to come to pass. The Marriage Equality bill is going to pass its third reading. What will I do tomorrow?
Obviously, the answer to that question, for me and hundreds like me, will be ‘groan, wince, and think “I really shouldn’t have done that”.’ Tonight is for celebrating, with like-minded individuals.
It’s days like this when I really wish we could all be together. Not that you could fit all the people I’d want to spend this evening with into the same bar, but you understand the sentiment. The closest I will come is Twitter, where I fully expect to see the people I love making sarcastic remarks about ParliamentTV’s hold music.
Out in the meat-space, there are events all over the place. In keeping track of this, I am even more than usually indebted to gaynz for constantly updating this page as things have changed through the week.
Starting with Christchurch, because that’s where I am. There will be afree concert at the Pallet Pavilion from 6pm, featuring Anika Moa. The third reading will be shown.
I will not be there, and given the forecast and the venue, I won’t be the only one. Luckily (and contrary to what was reported in The Press) it’s not the only game in town. A bunch of us will be heading along to join Tony Milne and the Christchurch Campaign for Marriage Equality upstairs at the Pegasus Arms from 7pm for viewing and drinking. It’s always nice to have company when you’re yelling at the television.
Wellington, where they really know how to celebrate some legislation. Legalise Love has a lunchtime picnic planned on Parliament’s lawn from 12-2. Again, the weather is probably going to be a factor there. For the reading itself, the public gallery is full, but there’s now overflow space in the Legislative Council Chamber. On the other hand, Back Benches is also filming that night, right across the road. The official after-party is, of course, at San Francisco Bath-house, and it’s free.
You can also watch the debate and the vote at S&M’s and Ivy.
Auckland. You can watch the debate at Caluzzi, or The Zookeeper’s Son. The latter venue would like you to RSVP. I remain convinced there must be more going on in our northern city. Let’s not keep it a secret. EDIT: Gaynz have added an event at Family, from 9pm. That’s more like it.
The gaynz page also has details of events in Hamilton, Palmerston North, WaihekeIsland and, yes, Blenhiem. Nothing for Dunedin. Yes, it’s cold, but I know y’all have bars down there.
The debate will be on Sky and Freeview, and you can stream it here.
In the midst of all this celebration, I can’t help but spare a thought for the legislation’s opponents. They’ve found themselves a minority in our society that some people feel it’s okay to say mean things about. I can’t even imagine what that must be like. And imagine the strain of maintaining the cognitive dissonance of continuing to believe they were right when all around them, society fails to fall apart.
On the other hand, maybe they’re right, and I’m wrong. Maybe I really will wake up tomorrow gay-married to my cat while fire and brimstone rains from the sky. All the more reason to party hard tonight.
(Always gay-drink gay-responsibly and all that.)
Incumbent Roger Rivard (R), lost his Congressional seat to Steven Smith (D). Rivard was the chap who told passed on his father’s wisdom that “some girls rape easy.”
Todd Akin (R) failed to take what should have been a winnable senate seat for the Republicans. Akin was the chap who told us that if a rape was “legitimate”, then a woman could not get pregnant because her body would shut conception down.
Tea Party backed candidate Richard Mourdock couldn’t win what should have been a wide open race, giving the Democrats one more seat in the Senate. Mourdock was the chap who told us that pregnancy resulting from rape was something that God intended.
But why should we care, here in New Zealand, an ocean away from the United States?
Here’s why. We should care because the anti-women rhetoric coming from conservatives in the US travels down here swiftly. Rape culture is alive and flourishing in New Zealand, and concepts like “legitimate rape” and “can’t get pregnant from rape” and “some girls rape easy” and “God meant for you to be raped” play into it, and sustain it.
I am so very glad that voters in the United States rejected these men who endorsed rape. It’s a push back, a small step towards dismantling the narrative of hatred and contempt for women.