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Well I suppose to be more correct (and slightly less sensationalist), I should correct that to bonds and submissions…still unclear as to what am I on about?

Marriage bonds and writing submissions to our parliament about how we should be entitled to form them with whomever we please, regardless of gender.

Today is the second to last day for New Zealanders to make written submissions before the second reading of the amendment to the Marriage Act. The amendment that may allow same-sex marriage. So tonight, last minute Ernie as usual, I wrote a short letter to express my support.

Here it is:

I am writing in support of the Marriage Equality Bill.

Currently as the law stands, as a gay woman my only option to formally and legally commit to my partner is through a Civil Union. So in February this year my partner of just over 4 years and I were legally joined through this mechanism.

Apart from simply wanting to make a formal commitment in front of our friends and family, one of the main reasons we chose to do this was because I was pregnant with a much wanted, planned for and loved child. We wanted our future child / children to feel secure in their parents’ relationship and commitment to both each other and to our family unit.

Ideally though, we would like our children, in the future, to be able to say to their peers, ‘Yes, my parents are married too.” I’d like my children to feel that in the eyes of broader society, their family is just as good and valid as the next kids family.

However as it stands, I believe we are left with a second rate option – that of a civil union.

I note that the majority of the people lobbying against this amendment claim religious reasons for doing so. I personally have not had a religious upbringing, so I view the debate purely from a personal / emotional viewpoint and as a human rights issue. However my partner was raised Catholic and would consider herself religious. Obviously, (luckily for me!), she believes it is completely okay for us to be married.

Additionally, her mother stayed for us for 5 months (on holiday from the Caribbean) last year, and went to the local Catholic Church daily. Even she said that she would come to our ‘wedding’ if she could (but had to return home before it happened). Instead she sent a message of love and support that my own mother read out during the speeches.

I also note in the media here many church-going people and Ministers are in support of equality. I heard a wonderful interview with the Reverend Strickson Pua on National Radio and am including an Anglican Minister’s quote below:

‘Now you know, the heterosexual community does not have the monopoly on mutuality, commitment and love. If we are going to be true to what we think is the heart of this sacrament and marriage then I think we have no option but to open the doors to people of the same gender.’ Glynn Cardy, Anglican Minister, St Matthews in the City.

I am an educated young woman, who has owned her own award winning business for 7 years. 2 of those awards were in the 2007 Her Business Awards, and one was for ‘Outstanding Business Citizenship’ due to my company’s work in the community. I have been involved with numerous charitable trusts, including on the board of a Maori At-Risk Youth Trust where I was the Chair for 4 years, and as a board member of the National Maori Tourism Council and with Youthline. I hope these show that I am a good and contributing member of New Zealand society!

All I really want is to be considered equal to my heterosexual peers, to be able to marry the person that I love in the same way that my brother was allowed to marry his wife last year. Our families see us no differently, so why should the government?

Sadly I miscarried the child I was carrying at the time of our Civil Union, but we will be trying again soon. I sincerely hope that this law goes through as if it does then we will definitely get married again properly, and we hope to have a small child of our own there to carry our rings.

I am attaching photographs of us with my grandparents at our Civil Union. If they (as 85+ year olds) can accept us, why should the government choose to deny us this right?

Ends.

What are your thoughts on gay marriage vs civil unions? What’s it like where you live?

PS: You’ll note I haven’t included the wedding pics in here yet..I not sure whether I want our (clearly identifiable) photos on here or not. What do others think? I seem to note some of you use pseudonyms in place of your names, but do post pictures, others don’t have full face shots but do use names etc. I’d love to know what are everyone’s reasoning behind the choices you make in terms of anonymity / privacy?

Billboard awesomeness from local church, St Matthew in the City.

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