Thursday, July 17, 2003

Civil Unions

The government's plan to extend legal rights to gay couples via civil unions is getting the expected result. United Future is spitting tacks again, but as with the previous fight over the care of children bill, they're irrelevant - the Greens have already said they're in favour, so it's as good as a done deal.

I'm pleased to see the government moving ahead on this. As far as I'm concerned, it's a human rights issue, pure and simple. A segment of our community is being denied legal recognition of their relationships, and therefore rights that most of us take for granted (like being able to visit your partner in hospital). Whether its called "marriage" or not isn't so important; what's important is that the package of rights associated with marriage is extended to those who want them but can't (at the moment) have them.

The side effect - that this completely seperates that package of rights from marriage, and effectively makes "marriage" a traditionalist's term for a secular civil union - is icing on the cake :)