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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Civil Union Bill Is Gay 

(Bloggingitreal brings to you this guest commentary from concerned citizen Coran Lill on the pending civil union legislation)

The Civil Union Bill carry on has been irritating me.

Largely because of some people's desire to abbreviate it into the awkward looking CUB.

And also because of all the straight trendies jumping on the band wagon and trying to get mileage out of it.

Like some self-styled media commentators and the patronising way they write about the gay cause.

If you give same-sex couples a civil union and you give opposite-sex couples a civil union but you don't give same-sex couples marriage, then that's discrimination.

It's like apartheid. You can have a beach. And we can have a beach. Just don't come on ours. And that's fair?

Or underpaying women in the workplace. She's on $12 an hour. He's on $14 an hour. How about we give you both $2 an hour more to sort it out. And that's fair?

You either do something properly, or you don't bother.

Especially when it comes to legislation governing love.

And the reason why the Labour government hasn't been able to do it properly is because there's not the momentum there for a full, once and for all recognition of gay rights.

Why not?

Partly it's because the majority of people will never be ready for broad changes to human rights. It's always a bit risky politically.

But there's a feeling out there that it's another bit of rushed legislation that's being pushed by an agenda rather than by the electorate.

But even if people were gagging for change, Labour's just about used up its quota of social engineering power this term and in my opinion needs a fresh mandate before it can do any more tinkering.

Without that, it's in danger of eating away at its electorate support.

Some might say that beggars can't be choosers and that gays should just be grateful for what they get from the state.

That one in the hand is worth two in the bush, so to speak.

I say that the gay community should neither compromise what it really believes in nor what it really wants.

Some of us have spoken out against it.

From a legislative point of view it's one thing to fall through the cracks, but to actively legislate second class status is a bad precedent.

From a gay relationship point of view, I believe that the bill will delay giving me the right to marry, with a "you get all the benefits in this country with the bill, why do you want the law changed again." Some people believe it will mean marriage comes sooner, but that would mean their cries that the bill is not "marriage lite" are false cries.

Jordan at Just Left calls it pragmatism. I guess it's one of the reasons I couldn't be a politician
No, civil unions aren't perfect. But they are an improvement on what was there beforehand, and they accelerate the headlong rush to marriage. Both these things are good.

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