Monday, 22 April 2013

A moment to be proud of....

*DISCLAIMER* This may be a very controversial topic to talk about, and if you don't have the same opinion as I do then I respect that. However, please also respect mine!*

This week was a proud week for me as a New Zealander. I am not usually a very patriotic person and I never really get involved in politics. I have my ideas, I know who I want to vote for, but it is not something I am ever passionate about. However this all changed the other night. I was glued to my seat watching parliament TV. Yes, it is exciting as it really sounds. It is broadcasting what is happening in the debating chamber, and what politicians are talking about. Normally I would find this a yawnfest but on this occasion I was so moved I even shed a tear. 

So what was so riveting you ask? I was watching history in the making. I was watching politicians give speeches on their stance on the marriage equality bill. They were deciding whether or not Gay, Lesbians, Intersex, Bisexual and Transgender people would be able to marry their partner of choice, male or female and it didn't matter what sex they were. Of course there were some people against it. However it was the speeches supporting the bill that moved me the most. 

This is controversial, and many of the letters and emails that the politicians included in their speeches shocked me. I was a supporter of the bill, as I didn't see it as fair for anyones right to get married taken away from them, not matter what their sexual orientation. However, I do understand the fact that it is something people are uncomfortable with. Some people feel as though marriage is a religious thing, and that homosexuality and marriage would not be okay under the eyes of god. (This is just some opinions that were brought up during parliament  I am sure not all people feel this way, and some will. I am not judging the way anyone views this topic.)

However the spin that was put on it by many politicians was that marriage was no longer just a religious thing, it was something that is entered into by many people who are not religious and have no religious ties whatsoever. Therefore it becomes a human rights issue. Since our government is not officially affiliated with any religion, how was it their place to tell a group of people they could not marry? Under their government, marriage is a legal contract that two people enter into. Therefore, with 77 votes to 44, the bill was passed and now everyone can marry the person they love. The moment the votes were read out, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. Although this bill did not affect me directly, I just knew how important it was to so many kiwis.

Here is a speech from that parliament sitting that has begun to spread around the world.


Proud Moments, 

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