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Young Labour Says Support Civil Unions

Stand Up and Join the Fight - Support the Civil Union Bill

New Zealand Young Labour

"Young Labour is today launching our second campaign of the year: 'Stand Up and Join the Fight - Support the Civil Union Bill'," said Young Labour President, Michael Wood.

"This campaign is focused on encouraging MPs and the public to support the Civil Union Bill. Love doesn't discriminate and neither should the law," he continued.

"In this day and age it is ridiculous that gay and lesbian couples cannot formally recognise their relationships and access all the benefits and responsibilities that flow from this.

"A small minority like the radical religious fundamentalist Maxim Institute should not stand in the way of a mainstream approach to give same-sex and opposite-sex couples the right to recognise their loving committed relationships in law," said Michael Wood.

"Young people need to stand up and join the fight to beat these bigoted views. The vast majority of younger New Zealanders support this legislation as an obvious reaction to inevitable social change.

"Young people have always been willing to accept progressive legislation and this bill is no exception. A One News Colmar Brunton Poll in April 2004 indicated 60% of 18-34 year olds supported Civil Unions. Young Labour has lobbied for this bill's introduction and we were happy to see it in Labour's 2002 manifesto. Now it's crunch time and we hope that MPs remember that this legislation is about promoting equality," Michael Wood said.

"The legislation also recognises the changing nature of relationships. In New Zealand today there are over 335 000 New Zealanders who identify themselves as having a partner but who are not legally married.

"This bill deals with reality. It will give such couples the protection, benefits and responsibilities of the legal recognition of their relationships, without the historical and religious connotations that marriage entails.," said Michael Wood.

Michael Wood says that Young Labour is encouraging young people to stand up and join the fight by:

• Joining Young Labour and helping us lobby MPs

• Signing an online petition that has been set up in support of the introduction of the Civil Union Bill. The petition can be signed at: http://www.petitiononline.com/civil/petition.html

• Visiting their MP or sending them a letter detailing why they support the bill.

If you would like to find out more about the campaign go to: http://www.civilunion.org.nz

Love doesn't discriminate - neither should the law.

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