File photo With just hours until submissions close on the bill which would give gay and transgender New Zealanders equal marriage rights, the Campaign for Marriage Equality is encouraging supporters to share their stories. “We know that the vast majority of New Zealanders support marriage equality,” says spokesman Conrad Reyners. “Now is the opportunity for everyday Kiwis to tell Parliament why having the same laws for all New Zealanders is so important.” Reyners says the Select Committee process is a chance for an open, honest and thoughtful conversation about why New Zealand needs Marriage Equality. “There is an important human dimension to why Louisa Wall’s Marriage Equality bill is necessary – and the select committee process provides a unique opportunity for these stories to be told by couples, friends, family and whanau.” In its submission on the Bill, the Campaign for Marriage Equality highlights the vital role marriage plays in strengthening families and broader society. “Marriage is seen by many as the definitive social expression of love and commitment. All of the evidence shows that married couples live longer, happier and healthier lives. In a fair and inclusive New Zealand these benefits, which strengthen families, should be available to all couples and their children” says another campaign spokesman, Jeremy Lambert. The Campaign’s submission also focusses on how marriage has evolved over time to reflect the changing nature of marriage, and how including same-sex couples within the social institution of marriage was consistent with the modern evolution of marriage. “In the past, married women had no legal identity. Women could not own property, divorce was not permitted under any circumstances, mixed-race marriages were not permitted, and marital rape was allowed. “Now we rightly think that these ‘traditions’ are backward and abhorrent. Society has evolved for the better. Marriage equality is just a continuation of the modernisation of marriage” Lambert says. Written submissions on the Marriage Equality Bill close at 5PM. Submissions can be made through the Marriage Equality Campaign website at www.marriageequality.co.nz/submit.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Friday, 26th October 2012 - 9:23am
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