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Wgtn mayor "honoured" to perform CU

Fri 29 Apr 2005 In: New Zealand Daily News

The Mayor of Wellington, Kerry Prendergast, says she's very much looking forward to celebrating her first civil union at the weekend, for gay couple Des Smith and John Jolliff. “I'm honoured that they've asked me,” she told “I've known Des and John a very long time. It's going to be a lot of fun.” She says it's very appropriate for the city of Wellington to celebrate the relationship of a couple who became known as the face of civil unions. Following this Sunday's ceremony, the couple plan to lead a parade over the city-to-sea bridge towards the harbour, where a kapa haka group and brass band will be there to greet them. “They really want to involve the community,” says Prendergast. “The community have been really supportive.” However, there has been one fly in the ointment in the form of a 600-word press release entitled “Mayor Promotes Civil Union Pantomime” from the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards, who once endorsed convicted child molester Graham Capill for Parliament. With references to group sex, fisting, and paedophilia, the Society called the weekend civil union “unnatural” and a “parasitic pantomine”, and defended raining on the happy couple's parade: “But why spoil the ‘fun' of “a couple of old buggers” by calling their special ‘marriage' ceremony a “parasitic pantomime”? Because the comparison is perfectly valid,” says the statement. “There is every reason to assess it as a farce: a sad attempt to try and treat same sex relationships as equivalent to those involving married heterosexuals.” But Prendergast rejects the Society's claims. “It's a ceremony of commitment between two people who love each other very much,” she says.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 29th April 2005 - 12:00pm

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