Editorial | Issue 04

Editorial | Issue 04

Themed issues are so 2012. But retro is making a comeback, so welcome to the Fashion Issue.

Know what else is in right now? Gay marriage. Parliament just voted in favour of the bill at its second reading. Good for them. I would have voted in favour too.

But I can’t help feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the whole thing. The phrase “civil union” will be replaced with “marriage” on some $26 certificates. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s not exactly revolutionary.

Gay people are fantastic and as much as I love receiving hate mail, I’m not writing this editorial to provoke a response.

The simple truth is that the bill will make little practical difference to people’s lives. Meanwhile, legislation that will actually do something is quietly snaking its way through Parliament while the public’s attention is focused on the sideshow that is the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill.

To name just three of the more substantial bills currently before our talented and tragically underpaid elected representatives:

1) Alcohol Reform Bill;

2) Consumer Law Reform Bill;

3) Psychoactive Substances Bill.

Have you made a submission on any of these bills?

Meanwhile, the Facebook frenzy on Wednesday night when the bill passed its second reading was more cringeworthy than a staged photo of a politician clearing rubble with a spade. Hashtags and self-congratulatory statuses everywhere. People were clambering over the top of each other to preach to the converted and show how much they cared about the #issues.

“So this happened yesterday. #MarriageEquality #EqualRights #Discrimination #HomophobiaGottaGo.”

Thus Tweeteth Muay-Thai-fighter-with-a-heart-of-gold Richie Hardcore, whose statuses alternate between updates on his punishing personal training regimen…

Buenas días! Feeling really upbeat & #positive after this morning’s 10k #run. All the best #chemicals are already inside your brain, like #endorphins and #serotonin, you just need to know how to tap into them naturally to feel great! #PMALLDAY!

… and the more socially conscious:

#Ad I made at work aimed at #University #Students to reduce #problem #drinking and #substance abuse...

But back to gay marriage. I get that students want to feel like they’re at the forefront of some once-in-a-generation social change. And I while I don’t think the gay marriage bill qualifies for that tag, I get that the symbolism of the nation voting overwhelmingly in favour of gay rights has genuine value. It’s great to see how attitudes have evolved in the last ten years.

Just don’t get so caught up in the circlejerk when the bill finally passes in April that you hang up your Che Guevara t-shirt and rainbow flag, content that you and your fellow libertadores have saved the world from the evil clutches of the almighty Family First. Retweeting the Campaign for Marriage Equality NZ’s status is only the beginning.

#legaliselove #buthavesomeperspective

This article first appeared in Issue 4, 2013.
Posted 5:43pm Sunday 17th March 2013 by Callum Fredric.