Gay marriage debate likely to split families

Dominion Post 29 Dec 2012
The Labour MP behind the bid to legalise gay marriage expects the debate to divide grandparents and grandchildren. With Labour MP Louisa Wall’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill tipped for a final reading in May, same-sex marriage could be passed into law next year. Ms Wall said the bill was a “talking point” with the potential to split families this summer. “For me, it’s an issue like the Springbok tour: you’re either for it, or against it. I’m happy for it to be one of the topics of holiday conversation.” She said debate over marriage equality reflected a “generational issue”, with pensioners proving to be the minority in opposition. “And for me, the opportunity to get that cross-generational dialogue going is between grandparents and grandchildren. I think it provides a really good opportunity for older people to talk to younger people.”

A recent Dominion Post readers’ survey also reflected the divisiveness of the issue. Of the 613 readers polled from December 13 to 20, 35 per cent identified themselves as being in support of same-sex marriage, while a further 35 per cent were against it. Just under a quarter described themselves as “neutral” on the subject, while a further 6 per cent had no opinion. The Futurescape Global Dominion Post poll had a margin of error of 4 per cent.