ThePress 29 Jan 2013
Biology, religion and love came to the fore when the controversial issue of same-sex marriage was debated in front of MPs in Christchurch. The city’s Air Force Museum yesterday hosted the parliamentary select committee considering public submissions on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, which would legalise same-sex marriage. The committee’s MPs heard from about 20 supporters and opponents of the bill, with many in favour of same-sex marriage drawing on their experiences of discrimination. Otago University Students’ Association queer support officer Neill Ballantyne said his own experience as a bisexual man amplified the hypocrisy of the current law. “It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that if I fall in love and want to spend the rest of my life with a woman, I can [get married] but, if I fall in love and want to spend the rest of my life with a man, I only get the consolation prize of a civil union.” Sara Epperson reminisced about dressing up as a 4-year-old bride at Halloween, saying the gap between her childhood dreams and her recent civil union had to be bridged for the sake of gay New Zealanders.