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Gay "wedding" headline was a statement says editor

Sat 16 Jun 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News

Calling Tamati Coffey's civil union a 'wedding' was a deliberate move on the part of the country's longest-serving women's magazine, according to its editor. Interviewed in the Weekend Herald today to mark the NZ Woman's Weekly's 80th anniversary, editor Sarah Stuart says the decision reflects the magazine's role of reflecting and driving social change. "I thought it was important that we ran that story and that we ran it as a huge, big colourful celebration, which is what it was, complete with dogs in small tutus." Stuart says there was a "tiny" backlash from some readers over her decision to feature the TV One celebrity's union with Tim Smith on the magazine's cover in January and to refer to their union as a wedding. "I thought it was a really important thing to do as a bit of a statement," she says. In the same feature article lesbian country music stars, sisters Jules and Linda Topp, say they have been featured in the NZ Woman's Weekly  "about five times" over the years. Later in the Weekend Herald, social columnist Rachel Glucina referred to transexual icon and groundbreaking ex-MP Georgina Beyer as one of the faces at the magazine's 80th birthday celebration party "who reminded everyone of the NZ Woman's Weekly's unique Kiwi heritage." The drive to extend legal marriage to same-sex couples has picked up momentum in recent weeks with two bills now in Parliament's private members' ballot and a TVNZ-commissioned poll indicating that 63% of New Zealanders now support marriage being available to same-sex couples. A NZ Herald poll in 2004 found that just 40% of New Zealanders supported gay marriage. Currently marriage is limited to heterosexual couples.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 16th June 2012 - 7:25pm

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