Civil Unions vs Gay Marriage

David W Young has blogged his opposition to the Civil Union Bill on the basis he wants gay marriage and adoption rights, and thinks passing of the CUB will make achieving gay marriage harder.

Now David’s a fag, and I’m not (well last time I checked anyway) so I should listen to what he says, and see whether there is any hope for misguided social liberals like Russell Brown and myself.

David Young has asked “Will either of them join a fight for full marriage rights? And for that matter, do either of them plan to actually ‘register’ their relationships as civil unions?”

Will if I tried to classify any of my current umm temporary or long distance alliances as civil unions I’d be found guilty under the fair trading act. But when I do meet that gullible blind blond lawyer, yes I’d like to marry her.

But to answer the question, no I won’t have a problem if gay couples can marry also. I’d be quite happy to vote for that. In my ideal world, the state would not marry people at all. The state would recognise registered partnerships, and I would actually give the churches intellectual property rights to the term marriage so some couples can choose to have their partnership called a marriage by getting an appropriate church to marry them. But no legal difference would result from this. So I might have an Anglican marriage and David W Young could get a marriage in a church which supports gay marriages.

I do have some issues around gay adoption. But that is a debate for another day.

David takes the view that civil unions will make it harder to get gay marriage. That view is shared by other gay friends such as Other Pundit and Shadowfoot. It’s a legitimate view, albeit it one I do not agree with. I also note the Colmar Brunton poll found a majority in favour of civil unions, but against gay marriage.

I think that trying to jump the whole way to gay marriage is one step, is unlikely to succeed. As a comparison could one have imagined that if Fran Wilde in 1985 had not only tried to decriminalise homosexual acts, but also tried to ban discrimination, that it would have passed. I suspect it would have been heavily defeated and off the agenda for a decade or so.

Now what did happen is that after homosexual acts were legalised in 1985, the world did not end as many predicted. Tens of thousands of people came out of the closet and almost all NZers ended up working with an openly gay colleague or having a gay friend. And so when in 1993 it was proposed one should not discriminate against someone just because they were gay, it passed with almost no opposition.

I predict the same with civil unions and gay marriage. If civil unions do pass, then society will get used to having legal gay couples, once again the world and western civilisation will not end, and in seven to ten years when someone proposes hey why not allow gay marriages also, it will be quite unexceptional.

Comments (25)

Login to comment or vote

%d bloggers like this: