Editorial: Same-sex marriage law inevitable

WARWICK RASMUSSEN DEPUTY EDITOR
Last updated 12:00 28/02/2013

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OPINION: Allowing same-sex couples to marry is as inevitable as any potential law change can be.

There will always be resistance to Labour MP Louisa Wall's Marriage Amendment Bill, but those opposed to it are on a hiding to nothing.

There has been a significant shift in the public perception of marriage and allowing same-sex couples the same legal protections and rights is a natural extension of that.

Perhaps there has always been enough support behind a change, but now there is also the political will to do something.

Yesterday, the government administration select committee sent the bill back to parliament where it will most likely be passed into law.

For most people interested in the process it's just another hurdle until the law changes. And when it does it will be a watershed moment in our legislative and social history.

It is a sign of maturity and social evolution. It is a right that is long overdue and not something that will end the world.

Allowing civil unions of same-sex couples proved this. It does not mean that there will be a swarm of gay and lesbian couples wanting to marry. It just means that those who want to - many who have wanted to for a long time - can get married.

Not allowing same-sex marriages is one of the last barriers of obvious discrimination. At the moment, our society and our laws say gay and lesbian people have all the same rights as heterosexuals, oh, except for being allowed to get married. The status quo simply makes no sense. It is not fair and it does not treat each citizen equally.

The strong emotions on both sides of the argument have spilled over in the past year or so, and that is understandable as it is an area of our law worth debating strongly.

But the right thing to do is pass this bill into law, and to be proud that we as a country have done what so many others have yet to.

ONE MORE THING:

Today is the last day of summer, and what a season it's been. Of course, if you rely on regular rainfall for a living it hasn't been so flash, but for the majority of us it's been a memorable couple of months to remember. For those who were around Manawatu at the time, the signs of a scorching summer were here early when the region baked on Christmas and Boxing days. But with a drought declared in Northland yesterday, and other regions very close to doing the same, even those sunshine fans wouldn't begrudge a little rain soon.

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