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New Zealanders sign up to support civil unions

19 November 2004

A thousand New Zealanders sign up to support civil unions

Over one thousand New Zealanders have signed their names to and have helped fund a full-page newspaper advertisement in support of the Civil Union and Relationships (Statutory References) Bills, to be published nationally on Sunday.

The names cover a broad cross-section of New Zealanders from all walks of life, including Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey, former Silver Fern Louisa Wall, author Keri Hulme, former All Black Mark Ranby, media commentator Russell Brown, political commentator Lindsay Perigo, world-famous chef Peter Gordon, National MP Katherine Rich, and actor Craig Parker.

“It makes perfect sense to me that couples, regardless of situation or gender, should have the right to formalise their relationships and have the legal protections that go along with that choice,” Parker says, adding, “I also would support this bill just to piss Mr Tamaki off.”

Former All Black and Super 12 player Mark Ranby says he has many friends whom the current law sidelines, and it’s important to support them. “It’s an acknowledgement of all relationships. Some people don’t even want to talk about homosexual relationships, but they do mean a lot to each other and should have a way of acknowledging that.”

Former Silver Fern Louisa Wall says denying same-sex and defacto couples the right to enter into a civil union just because they are a minority is undemocratic. “As a member of a socially democratic society, I support full citizenship rights,” she says. “We all have the right to form a civil union if we so choose, and this legislation will formalise that right, especially for the rainbow community whom this right has been denied.”

The advertisement has been co-ordinated by the Campaign for Civil Unions, who say it is more proof of the widespread public support for the Civil Union and Relationships (Statutory References) Bills, as shown by several recent public polls.

"We always knew most people supported recognising the relationships of same-sex and de facto couples. New Zealanders are fair-minded people," says campaign co-ordinator Michael Wallmannsberger. "The ad is the work of a group of enthusiastic volunteers who have come together from a diverse range of communities. We built its success on the enthusiasm of ordinary New Zealanders for the introduction of these Bills.”

ENDS

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