Pair dream of one day tying the knot

04:16, Apr 08 2016

Former Taranaki woman Jess Dyer is dreaming of the day she can marry her lesbian partner after the Marriage Amendment Bill was drawn at Parliament yesterday.

The 22-year-old cafe manager said she and her partner, Byre Waterman, 21, had been planning a civil union but were putting those plans on hold, hoping they can one day marry.

Miss Dyer, who lives with her partner in Wellington, said it was time for same-sex marriage to become legal in New Zealand.

“Not allowing gay people to marry is discrimination. It's the same thing as saying a black man can't marry a white woman.

“You can't put love in a box and say ‘you can't join in because you are different',” Miss Dyer, who has been with her partner for a year, said.

Miss Dyer, who grew up in Stratford, believed the bill was the first step towards gay couples in New Zealand being able to adopt children.

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“There are so many children out there without loving parents, but at the moment gay couples can't adopt them, even if they are in a civil union.

“We would one day like to adopt and give a child a happy home and a loving, safe environment. Legalising gay marriage is the first step to us being able to do that,” she said.

The couple, who said they have had three friends commit suicide after being bullied over their sexuality, believe the legalisation of gay marriage would send a positive message to young New Zealanders.

“Making same-sex marriage legal will mean young people will be a lot more comfortable with their sexuality and coming out,” Miss Dyer said.

“There will be less bullying and less suicide."

- Taryn Utiger is a Witt journalism student.

Taranaki Daily News