Andreas Derleth makes his submission By treating gay people differently the government is giving gay people a label such as the pink triangle gay men were forced to wear by the murderous Nazi regime, according to a pro-marriage equality submission made yesterday by Mr Gay New Zealand and Mr Gay World, Andreas Derleth. Derleth was speaking on the final Auckland day of select committee hearings into Louisa Wall's private member's bill which seeks to open up marriage to same sex couples. "As Mr Gay NZ and Mr Gay World I travel widely and meet people with problems regarding bullying and mental health relating to persecution... I do believe it would be better for the mental health of young people if discrimination practises such as denial of the right to marry were removed," he said. "People say they are the same but in fact each has a very different perception." "Gay people are forced to accept a different label," he said in reference to gays not being allowed to be married like the rest of the population but must instead be Civil Unioned. "A long time ago in my birth country, Germany, gay people were forced to wear pink triangles to show that they were different." Wearing pink triangles in public and in concentration camps frequently attracted and encouraged abuse and violence against the men forced to wear them. Asked by committee member Kevin Hague what proportion, in his experience, of civil unioned gay people would prefer to be married, Derleth replied "the majority." He added that he and his partner would definitely marry. "We have talked about it and yes, we would." Derleth says he has been following the submissios to the parliamentary select committee "and I haven't heard one good point against gay marriage. He was emphatic that every New Zealander should have the same rights and be treated the same in law. Derleth was one of almost 250 people and organisations who gave submissions for and against the marriage equality bill over two packed days in Auckland during which verbal presentations were mostly limited to just five minutes and occasionally ten. The verbal submissions, added to those already heard in Wellington and of which more will be heard in Christchurch next week, complement the thousands of written submissions already received by the committee which is scheduled to report back to parliament at the end of next month. The bill will then proceed to its second reading in the house.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Thursday, 24th January 2013 - 11:44am
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