Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Thank you Louisa - you were brilliant in both your opening and closing speeches - calm, logical, inclusive, passionate - you shone !
78 - 40! Shit that is impressive ! And is shows such a massive change in New Zealand society - the idea that even 10 years ago, we would be looking at this, seeing this kind of result, well people would have thought you were crazy!
So thank you so much for that, and thank you to all the others who did such a wonderful job tonight. And a real thanks to Kevin Hague, you made such an eloquent, passionate speech.
And thank you Dr Paul Hutchison - coming from National, standing up and making that clear, classically liberal analysis, and admitting you'd been forced to think and weigh the evidence and change your mind. Your speech was outstanding, sincere, and humble. I was really moved.
National MP Jamie Lee-Ross standing up in support, saying that he hadn't been born when Homosexual Law Reform went through, shit that made me feel old - but his defense, his stance of almost bewilderment that this could be an issue - this is not the National Party of Holyoake, Muldoon and Bolger ...
And yes, I was moved, I was involved, even though as I have said here before, I have real problems with the idea, but once this battle was started the stakes are too high for us to fail. And you might call it histrionic, but I'd say it was a victory of good over evil, over reason over fear - it's a social milestone - do not underestimate it.
You might be, as I am, deeply critical of the concept of marriage for philosophical and political reasons, you might be opposed to the assimilationist tendencies, the kow-towing to heteronormativity - fine.
But if we had lost this, and I do men "we", then the price would have been huge.
It would have sent a message to those people out there who hate us, who are religiously and philosophically opposed to us, or who are just pig-ignorant red-neck bigots, that they had been vindicated, and that we had been shown to be wrong, to be lesser, to be not as good as them.
And that's why, once it started, we couldn't afford to lose this argument.
We are in fact the full, moral and legal equivalent to anyone else in this society. We are not lesser citizens nor are we lesser humans, simple because we love people of the same gender.
For me it is that simple - that we are able to take part in the complete fullness of life in the same way as any other citizen.
And ... wasn't it great following it all on twitter and facebook while watching it on Parliament TV. I love that - all the contacts, the jokes, the observations, the different webs and networks intersecting. It was watching history, that clash of ideas coming out, I love that stuff. I really did feel connected to a community.
It was a great night. A great result. But we've only one the battle, not the war on this issue. But we will!