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OPINION: New Zealand’s not good enough
First and foremost, congratulations to the conservative government of New Zealand for passing legislation to recognise gay marriage. I was so happy earlier this year when I heard the courageous MPs across the Tasman had made such a progressive and positive decision. In the past week the legislation came into law and many people have asked me whether my partner of 21 years, Jason, and I would travel to New Zealand to officially tie the knot. The answer to that is ‘no’.
I have been campaigning for many years to have marriage equality laws changed here. I have waited this long for change and we will continue to do so. After countless rallies, Mardi Gras and even my own ‘illegal’ marriage, which was broadcast on 2Day FM and the Sunrise program, politicians in this country are still dragging the chain and refusing to reflect public opinion. Last year’s vote against gay marriage in our federal parliament was a disgrace, as are Tony Abbott’s continuing comments opposing gay marriage.
However, I am an eternal optimist and despite the fact that Mr. Abbott looks set to become our next Prime Minister I believe change is inevitable. It’s just a matter of when it will happen.
Surely Tony Abbott will realise the world won’t stop functioning when gay people, including his own sister, are given equality?
On the Labor side we need to hope that many MPs who previously voted against the legislation will re-consider their positions. After all, this is a question of civil rights. In the meantime, good luck to those who have gone to New Zealand to get married, but remember you won’t be recognised as a married couple under Australian law. Hopefully the decision in New Zealand and other progressive countries will put more pressure on our MPs who are looking increasingly isolated.
I look forward to the day when I can get married to Jason, here in my home country. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.