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.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Saturday, 19th July 2003 - 12:00pm
This page displays a version of a GayNZ.com article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of PrideNZ.com. If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us