Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Five years later

Five years ago tonight, the New Zealand Parliament passed the marriage equality bill. Introduced by Labour MP Louisa Wall, the bill attracted support from 71 MPs, and opposition from an antique-minded 41. The celebratory graphic above was posted to Facebook today by the New Zealand Labour Party. It was nice to celebrate.

Naturally, that brought out the “Christian” extremists who never miss an opportunity to tell LGBT people that they’re all going to hell, that their love isn’t “real”, and blah, blah, blah, the usual hatred, bigotry, and fake-Christians messages. It’s profoundly sad that so many “Christians”, pretenders though they may be, think that the perfect day to spread their religion-based hatred and bigotry is on a day of celebration for LGBT people, as if LGBT people would be receptive to such negativity and hatred at that exact moment. To those possibly sincere extremists, apparently, nothing says “Christian Love” quite like telling happy people they’re shit.

This time, at least, the Labour Facebook post was moderated a little, and some of the most bigoted comments were deleted. That was something that wasn’t done in the past, and it was really great to see, even if plenty of other bigoted comments were left.

Meanwhile, marriage endures, New Zealand endures, conservative religion endures—and so does hatred and bigotry against LGBT people. Even so, the biggest survivor of all is love itself. Love triumphed five years ago tonight, and it has triumphed every time a happy couple—gay or straight—gets married. Sure, the bigots of all sorts keep trying to drag us all backward, and down to their level, and, yes, bigots keep society from becoming truly free and equal. But five years ago New Zealand took a giant step forward toward recognising that love is love.

The struggle for marriage equality was always about honouring love. Five years later, the law still is. Hopefully some day the bigots will finally understand that, too.

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