Article Title:Your Submissions: James Laverty
Category:True Stories
Author or Credit:James Laverty
Published on:2nd February 2013 - 11:00 am
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Story ID:12779
Text:James Laverty (right) with good friend Buckwheat I am writing to ask you to support the Marriage equality Bill. I came to New Zealand 13 years ago for a better life and to get away from being bullied and teased because of my sexuality. I do not want to spend my whole life feeling like this or I have to hide who I am. I feel tired and worn out for the way life has to be while being gay and if I had a choice to be in this world as it is now then I would choose to be straight. I wake up feeling so unhappy every day and wish sometimes the word gay was just a word and that people did not judge me on sexuality. It was great news when we passed the Civil Union Bill and I thought it would change the way people and communities look at us and make our partnerships with each other the same as a straight couple. Over the years of working in Wellington and Auckland this is not the case. I have now been in a two year relationship and we find it hard not being able to hold hands as we walk down town because people have said not so many nice things or one of us have almost been beaten up because we show our love in public for each other. I feel like a second class citizen every time I go out unless it’s in my own community. We went to rent a house two years ago and the agent said to the landlord ‘’It’s a gay couple that want to move in, are you happy with this?’’ We get problems like this all the time. No matter what it is we always have to hide if we want the same rights as any other straight couple. We pay the same taxes, GST, rates, water etc and work just the same as everyone else. I have also been turned down for work due to my sexuality. I want me and my partner to be able to have children and know they are in a safe place while growing up and going to school to learn and not be bullied or teased the way I was or need the amount of support and counselling I have needed after my family walked away from me when finding out my sexuality. I want my children to go to school and know there is no difference between same sex relationships and straight relationships and that we are not being judged for our sexuality. I ask you to look at the meaning and the history of the word marriage and how it only became religious after the 14 century by the church. In countries that have same sex marriage it has not taken the meaning away from the church or its beliefs. Its time we made a real change to the world and this is the only chance in my life time for us to all have equal rights.     James Laverty - 2nd February 2013
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