At a "mass" commitment ceremony was held at the Ansell Big Gay Out in Auckland six gay couples took part in the commitment ceremony and exchanged rings before the 10,000-plus crowd at the Big Gay Out at Coyle Park in Pt Chevalier. The ceremony was in suppoprt of the proposed Civil Unions legislation which would give de facto and gay couples the right to register their partnerships and give access to rights such as being recognised as immediate family when a partner dies. Big Gay Out co-organiser Sandi Goodwin says opponents branding the bill "the Gay Marriage Bill" wanted to deny everyone the same rights, and in countries where similar legislation was introduced, 97 per cent of people registering their unions were not gay. Prime Minister Helen Clark, accompanied by gay MPs Mr Barnett and Chris Carter, made what has become an annual appearance at the festival, telling the crowd the bill was another piece of legislation that would help end discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference or "gender identity".
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Wednesday, 11th February 2004 - 12:00pm
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