Wednesday, 12 September 2012

My submission on the Definition of Marriage Amendment Bill

I am a heterosexual male New Zealand citizen. I am in love with a woman who fortunately for me, loves me in return. I want to formalise that love, and have it recognised by the government I helped elect and that I pay my taxes to. In other words, I want to ask her to marry me.

But I can't do that. Because "marriage," the thing that we all look forwards to as kids, doesn't exist in New Zealand. We have a government institution called marriage, sure. But it's far from the same thing that we grow up wanting.

When I marry someone, I want my marriage to formalise my feelings for that person. I want my marriage to say "of all the people in the world, I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. You are my other half."

In New Zealand, marriage doesn't mean that. In New Zealand, marriage may say that, it may speak pretty vows and dress all in white, but the whole time it has its fingers crossed behind its back. It says, "I love you more than anyone else... that has a vagina."

Marriage should not be dependent on the other party's genitals. When I marry someone, it should be unconditional. Our marriage should be based on our mutual love, not our ability to procreate or our compliance with the scriptures or anything else. And in New Zealand, we don't have that. We have a civil union, but who grows up dreaming of a civil union?

Please. If you love your partner and value your marriage, then pass this amendment. Make marriage the institution we grow up believing it is, a celebration and protection of love. Unconditional, mutual, beautiful love. Don't keep it in the dark ages, dependent on the approval of the state like an overbearing parent.

Let me marry my girlfriend, because we love each other. Let my workmate marry his boyfriend, because they love each other. Let my neighbour marry her girlfriend, because they love each other. Otherwise what does marriage mean?

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