Kia Ora! I’m Natalie and I am co-chair for the Waikato region.
I was involved in the establishment of the LegaliseLove Waikato branch as I felt it was necessary to give local supportive people a forum to express their perspective and channel this in a positive way so that we could be represented before our MPs.
I, someday very soon, would love the honour of marrying my partner, Amy. We are sold this idea by society that one day we will fall in love, get married, have babies, go on nice family holidays… Currently when a person identifies themselves as gay, that right is revoked. Not only is this lawfully discriminative, but is also socially unjust. Our youth health statistics show that it can be very damaging for young people to experience that to ‘come out’ also means they must surrender their marriage and adoption rights in place for second class citizenship.
I am passionate that all people should be treated equally by the law and with dignity, regardless of who we love.
GAME ON Waikato!
My name is Stewart Putwain & I’m the co-chair of LegaliseLove Waikato. When my wife & I decided to marry it was one of the most exciting times of my life. The fact that there are people in New Zealand, including some close friends, who are denied the right to even make that choice it upsets & at times angers me. Now is the time for New Zealand to make a change to include the LGBT community in the institution of marriage. In years to come I want to be able to look my son in the eye and be proud to say I was involved in that process.
My name is Toria Putwain and I am the secretary for LegaliseLove Waikato. I’m a proud New Zealander most of the time but when we discriminate (and especially when it’s backed by law) against law abiding members of our society, that pride reduces.
I believe that marriage is a need common across the human race; most people need to love and to build family relationships. Marriage can be an important part of creating a family community.
On a personal level, I know the happiness and love my own marriage brings me. My family is my greatest source of joy.
I feel that it is unacceptable that some people are currently denied this right.
Phil Evans Co-Secretary
My name is Phil Evans, and I am deeply passionate about equality for the LGBT community. But it is not just about us, it is also about the friends or family members of LGBT people, and the knock-on effect that full equality has on the whole of society.
I grew up believing that I would never be allowed to get married, and that has affected decisions I have made throughout my life. When Labour MP Louisa Wall’s Bill was drawn from the ballot, I was elated that I could possibly have the option of getting married one day, frustrated that our society even needed to be going through this process, and angry at the opposition people have against me and the community I am part of.
Marriage Equality is about treating everyone equally, and allowing everyone to live life’s experience as fully as they can; regardless of the gender of the person they are attracted. Marriage is part of life’s experience.
I am an uninteresting straight person who spends my time being annoyed
about things. One of these things is our grudging pretence that we accord
equality to people who aren’t straight, in our laws and habits. While I
have mixed views about marriage per se, one thing I absolutely do not think
it should be is only available for certain people. Another thing that
frequently surprises and annoys me is the intense level of disagreement
this simple idea can engender, in turn a reflection of how inclusive we
really aren’t as a society.
I am optimistic that laws and attitudes shape each other. As such a
society that accepts LGBT people unconditionally in legislation is one that
is ultimately capable of accepting LGBT socially unconditionally too. I
consider myself one colour of the rainbow community that is made up of
*all* sexualities. No one has ever tried to convince me I shouldn’t be
straight and I wouldn’t want my gay friends and family any other way
either. I believe LGBT shouldn’t be singled out as different, and amending
the law to reflect this is a more than symbolic way to stimulate change.
As well as being annoyed, my hobbies include sighing, putting things away,
and data entry. I suspect my being treasurer has something to do with this.