OPINION: I'm always a bit reluctant to delve too deeply into my own opinion in this column - as a reporter, part of your job is being impartial - but I've decided to throw caution to the wind, because I think this is important, writes Alana Dixon in Uptown Girl.
The marriage equality debate has finally reached New Zealand, and I am so, so pleased.
As I have mentioned before, I am a big fan of weddings.
Like many little girls, I dreamed of a fluffy white dress and a big sparkly ring and feeling like a princess - I blame too much Disney for my soppy, embarrassingly romantic nature.
I don't think there's anything wrong with somebody else wanting to experience all that glory - not a watered-down, "oh we'll let them have a civil-uniony-thing" sort of thing.
The arguments against marriage equality are, to me, as insipid as weak tea.
(Nothing remotely close to the strong brews Betty would whip up in the back of Rovers for a love-stricken lass.)
Let's begin, shall we?
First - it devalues the sanctity of marriage.
My response - aren't us straighties, with our near-on-50 per cent divorce rate and 72-day debacles doing a mighty fine job of that ourselves? Don't you think if people are fighting so hard to have the right to marry, it means they are actually quite committed to doing so?
Second - homosexuality is unnatural.
Uh, you sure about that? Yes, two people of the same sex can't pop out babies on their own. But as for a pair of the same sex being attracted to one another, that's something that happens all over the animal kingdom. Google it. Just maybe not at work.
Apparently scientists also think they've isolated the "gay gene". Don't mess with DNA, yo.
Third - Marriage is a religious institution. Does that mean that as someone who does have a faith, which is admittedly a mish-mash of bits glued together, I can't marry somebody who doesn't share the same views? Can people who identify as agnostic or atheist not get married any more? What if I want to marry somebody who believes in evolution? There's conflicting arguments that marriage even started as a religious institution - ever heard of dowries?
Fourth, my personal favourite - it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. My response - let's check out the rest of the Bible and take it literally, shall we? I don't think the gems scattered throughout Leviticus and Deuteronomy like owning slaves, never being allowed to eat ANY fat EVER or stoning stubborn children should be taken literally in 2012.
Now, I am not writing this to offend. I think it's important for people to respect other people's beliefs, religious or otherwise.
But I don't see how the decision of two men or two women, who are in a committed, consensual relationship, to get married will have a negative impact on my life.
In fact, the more tolerant of a society we can be, the better. Longtime callers to talkback radio, take note.
You want to get married, Adam and Steve? Go for it.
- The Southland Times