Mixed marriage equality editorials

Editorial reaction to the passing of marriage equality bill has been mixed – it’s worth guessing that editorial writers will often be from older age groups.

Dominion Post was in favour – Bill gives equal opportunity for all

Before 9.30pm on Wednesday, a heterosexual couple who wanted to spend the rest of their lives together had three options. They could live as de-facto husband and wife, as many do, they could enter into a civil union or they could get married.

The passing two nights ago of Labour MP Louisa Wall’s bill allowing same-sex marriage has not altered those choices for heterosexual couples. Nor has it undermined or devalued the relationship status of those already married and those who will marry in the future.

It has merely extended to gay and transgender couples all the options that are available to straight couples.

All that has changed is that same-sex couples who love each other and who want to spend their lives together are no longer excluded by law from making the ultimate commitment purely because of their sexual orientation.

Waikato Times quoted several people in favour of the bill including Maurice Williamson and Lynda Topp but didn’t seem to share the gay mood in The sun will still rise

How well the vote mirrored public opinion is hard to gauge. One recent poll showed public opposition to same-sex marriage had grown significantly since Ms Wall’s bill came before Parliament. This shift in sentiment was not necessarily caused by scaremongering by the bill’s opponents, as its champions maintained. Opponents nevertheless were still outnumbered by supporters and young people overwhelmingly favoured it.

Some opposition was rooted in homophobia. Some was based on strongly held religious beliefs. Some people simply didn’t see the need for change, because civil unions went far enough in recognising same-sex relationships.

Former National MP Marilyn Waring wasn’t altogether in a celebratory mood, however, and condemned MPs who intended voting against the bill as cowards.

She will be aware that the rights of the opponents of same-sex marriage would be corroded, no matter how disagreeably they reason their stance, if Parliamentarians could not represent them. She will be aware, too, of the paradox in displaying intolerance of intolerance.

Manawatu Standard is positive despite their title – Prophecies of doom are overstated

The sanctity of marriage and even society itself will not be undermined or torn asunder. In fact, both will be strengthened by spreading even further underlying messages of hard work and togetherness implicit in the community’s official recognition of a couple, and by bringing gays further under the umbrella of conformity.

Even the churches could benefit, if they see the opportunity to spread their own message to a wider audience.

And maybe they too will find the sky hasn’t fallen.

ODT is more against the change – Same-sex marriage

For many social conservatives, notably those of fundamental or traditional religious beliefs, marriage was, is and should be a commitment between a man and a woman. The two genders are complementary and it is only through their union that children can be made naturally.

This important institution, upon which a healthy community is built, is being weakened, even debased. Further, why should gays try to co-opt ”marriage” when gay couples have virtually all the same rights through civil union legislation? That union signals couple status through specific vows and at a ceremony.

Surely, that is sufficient without muscling in on marriage?

Even though society is changing, even though liberalism triumphed on this occasion, the genuine and thoughtful beliefs of those opposed to change should be respected. Conservative reactions to declines in the morality, standards and safety in a complex and, at times, nasty modern world are understandable. There will, indeed, be times when holding fast to traditional views and laws are the appropriate reaction.

Taranaki Daily News has a “Modern Maiden” opinion – May we move on in love

One of the best things that will come from the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill is that the arguments will stop and the nastiness will cease.

I’m glad to have it carved in stone and written into the law, not only for the obvious and most important reason of equality, but also so people will eventually stop voicing their hateful views.

As an openly bisexual woman there has not been a week gone by since the bill was pulled from the ballot that I have not had to listen to somebody telling me exactly why it shouldn’t be made into law, and why it is wrong to even want it to.

The people who have shared their sometimes hurtful views with me have been friends, men at the bar who I had known for less than an hour, and even a couple of members of my family.

The bill has now passed, and for reasons of equality and civil rights I am over the moon, but I can’t shift this feeling of relief.

I am relieved because now the saga is over. There will be no more debating, no national marches and no more personal harassment.

The hurtful conversations should eventually stop and we can get on with trying to love one another again.

I am pretty sure that love was meant to be the focus of the bill in the first place, and I guess that’s what made it hard to understand where all this hatred came from.

The time has come. The bill has passed. May we move on in love.


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  1. More marriage editorials | Your NZ

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