THE PRESS: The much-lauded civil union legislation has been labelled a "waste of time" by critics, with only about 460 couples choosing civil unions since they became law a year ago.
Political opponents of the legislation say the poor showing – which compares 458 civil unions to about 20,000 marriages – proves the move was "political symbolism". Figures released by the Department of Internal Affairs yesterday show of the civil unions, 178 were male-male unions, 199 were female-female unions and 81 were heterosexual unions.
Was the enactment of civil unions a waste of time? A lot of sound and fury signifying nothing? Well, certainly the sound and fury and scaremongering from the Tamaki wing has come to nothing -- 458 couples now living peacefully together and God hasn't yet sent down lightning bolts of retribution on the country, and nor is he (sorry, 'He') ever likely to.
But, say people like Whale Oil: "Civil Unions 458. Marriage 20,000. Not even close , it begs the question why Labour even bothered." Well, perhaps because 458 couples were able to exercise a choice that wasn't previously available to them, and by which they consider themselves better off (and at nobody else's expense). And perhaps because 377 homosexual couples are able to have formal recognition of their relationship that they weren't previously able to (and their relationship is nobody else's business but theirs).
So it's only 20,000 vs 458. So what? It's not a popularity contest. 458 couples are better off for Civil Unions. And none of those Civil Unions is anybody's business but those who entered them. Get over it.
UPDATE: Uh oh, looks like Rodney and I have agreed twice now in a week. Says Rodney: "The way I figure it that’s 20,000 couples pleased to be able to get married. And 468 couples pleased to be able to have a civil union. I don’t see how anyone getting married could be upset by others opting for a civil union. Those who had a civil union previously didn’t have that option so there must be a net gain in happiness. There’s now more choice, that must be a good thing."
LINK: Civil unions 'waste of time' - The Press
Civil unions not a winner - Whale Oil Beef Hooked
Marriage survives - RodneyHide.Com
TAGS: Politics-NZ, Politics-Labour