being pragmatic over gay unions
David Young has blogged what I think is an excellent piece on civil unions. (found via DPF). Go read it. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I do agree that what has passed as "debate" on this bill has made me frustrated and angry as well. Like David, I too talked with Tim Barnett about the bill and he told me that it was a pragmatic decision to have this bill. That is, gay marriage would never be passed by Parliament as it did not have the support.
Perhaps support for civil unions - both inside and outside Parliament - has grown because the increasing supporters include those who are against gay Marriage, rather than for it. However most people do not want civil unions - they merely approve of civil unions either because it is a step towards equal rights, a step towards gay marriage, or because it is seen as a better (pragmatic) option than gay marriage.
Those hard -core opponents of the bill tend to be those opposing gay marriage, any legal recognition of gay relationships, or those - like David Young, Nigel Christie and Marilyn Waring - who support gay marriage only and see civil unions as a backward step.