Saturday, February 10, 2007

Add it to the list

Chris Carter, New Zealand’s first openly gay Member of Parliament, and first openly gay cabinet Minister, is being civil-unionised today (“Minister to marry in gay union”, as the New Zealand Herald put it) to his partner of 33 years, Peter Kaiser.

The guest list’s 180 people included the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, Speaker of Parliament, Margaret Wilson, and other cabinet ministers. The Prime Minister said of the event:
"Chris and Peter have had a very long-term, loving relationship and I am pleased the law now enables them to have it recognised. I wish them continuing happiness."
Carter himself was keeping most of the details private (including, apparently, a secret no-media stag party last night). In his January message on website GayNZ.com, Carter said:
"We are fortunate to live in one of the most tolerant and respectful nations on the planet. In my role as a Cabinet Minister I often meet GLBT and other progressive politicians from around the world. Many envy our strong record of progressive reform of the laws and regulations that had discriminated against GLBT New Zealanders."
He went on to point out how this has been achieved:
"The passage of the Civil Union Act, and the raft of other positive changes in recent years, came about through hard work by activists within Rainbow Labour and support to see them enacted from the wider Labour Party. Others have shown similar leadership in their own countries.
Add this to the list of reasons of why I love living in New Zealand. Can anyone seriously imagine this level of acceptance happening in America, regardless of which party controls the White House?


d said...

I know, right?! Isn't that awesome?

Arthur Schenck said...

I guess we shouldn't expect anything less from the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.