Article Title:Gay couples welcome civil union bill
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:19th July 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1944
Text:Vocal opposition to New Zealand's proposed civil union bill has not dampened enthusiasm from gay couples, or the bill's political supporters. Des Smith of the Gay Taskforce says gay and lesbian couples are treated as second class citizens, and the bill creates a non-discriminatory alternative to marriage for everyone. A Palmerston North couple, Tim Harrison and Eric Steinmark, spoke out in the Manawatu Evening Standard, saying they believe same-sex couples should be able to marry if they want to. "Society is more tolerant now but not really embracing of homosexuality," said Mr Harrison. "They're tolerant in the sense that if they can ignore it it's okay, but they don't treat it the same way as a heterosexual couple." Green MP Metiria Turei has said her party supports the bill, as it was important to recognise that relationships come in different forms. She added that gay couples are currently discriminated against under law in matters of next of kin and immediate family rights, parenting rights, and a range of other laws that only recognise “married” couples.    
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