Thursday, April 18, 2013

We did it!

Tonight, Louisa Wall's Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed its third reading, 77-44. We did it!

Martin Luther King once said that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice". As a godless materialist, I don't believe in the spooky woo-woo of a pre-ordained "arc" to history. The only direction to history is the one we give it. Which makes tonight's victory all the sweeter. Tonight, we made New Zealand (and the world) a better, more equal, more moral place. Not some imaginary god, not some mystic historical forces, but us. We did it by standing up and demanding it, by not being satisfied with half measures, by taking civil unions and pushing for more.

And that's how you change the world. Push long enough and hard enough, convince enough people, and eventually you'll find you're pushing on an open door.

There's still more to do, of course. But we can talk about that later. Tonight is for celebrating!

Finally, politicians often complain about the New Zealand public being "apathetic" and not caring about politics. But as tonight shows, we are anything but. A packed gallery, packed bars watching ParliamentTV, lively commentary across the web - the country was watching. Which tells us that the problem is not with us, but with the politicians. All they need to do is start talking about the issues we actually care about...