Article Title:Your submissions: Craig Hoyle
Category:Comment
Author or Credit:Craig Hoyle
Published on:12th December 2012 - 10:39 am
Published by:GayNZ.com
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Story ID:12433
Text:We are sharing some of the thousands of submissions being made for marriage equality. Craig Hoyle writes: “the current law sends a message to society that the love shared between two people of the same gender is somehow not the same as the love shared between two people of different genders.” If you would like to share your submission, just email it to news@gaynz.com. We are happy to remove names for more sensitive submissions. To the Select Committee for the Marriage Amendment Bill. I am writing to you in support of the Marriage Amendment Bill currently before Parliament. I believe the passage of this legislation is a fundamental step for civil rights here in New Zealand, and would like to explain some of the reasons I hold this view. I was a young teenager when the Civil Union Act was debated in Parliament in 2004. The civil union debate was the first point at which I became aware that many people in society were accepting of those who did not conform to traditional expectations of gender and/or sexual orientation. This awareness gave me hope, and equipped me with the strength to carry on when I was thrown out by my church after coming out as gay. Important though the Civil Union Act was, however, I do not believe it went far enough. We still have inequality in that opposite-sex couples have access to both marriage and civil unions, whereas same-sex couples are restricted to civil unions only. Many will argue civil unions provide the same basic legal status, yet the current law sends a message to society that the love shared between two people of the same gender is somehow not the same as the love shared between two people of different genders. During my work as a volunteer in the youth sector I have seen the effects of such discrimination first-hand. Many young people are thrown out of home, fired from their jobs, abandoned, isolated and rejected because they choose to be honest about who they are. I survived the effects of such treatment, but others are not so lucky. According to the Youth ’07 Report, the rate of attempted suicide is four times higher among youth who are same-sex attracted than it is among those who are attracted to the opposite sex. I cannot describe the heartache of talking to a class of 14-year-olds after one of their classmates has taken their own life. Young people like this are who this legislation is most important for. It sends a clear message to them that society will be accepting of their identity, and that they should be free to love who they choose regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It tells them that they are just as good as everyone else, which to me is the crux of what this legislation is about. True equality before the law for ALL New Zealanders. I would welcome the opportunity to speak before the Committee in person. Regards, Craig Hoyle Craig Hoyle - 12th December 2012    
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