Originally published on GayNZ.
Wellington-based activist group The Queer Avengers is calling for a struggle “beyond marriage”, saying while it supports marriage equality, it’s not the end of the line for GLBT rights.
While the group supports Louisa Wall’s Bill to introduce marriage equality, it says the community still faces a number of obstacles.
Member Sara Fraser says these include bullying, suicide and homelessness among GLBT youth; inadequate access to quality healthcare for trans people; and common intimidation and violence in the streets.
She adds that there are many family structures which marriage and adoption law does not cover, for example polyamory and whangai adoption.
“This is not the final struggle,” Fraser says. “We’re looking ahead to the struggles beyond marriage.”
However when it comes to the marriage equality battle, the Queer Avengers are critical of MPs who are against it.
“Bill English says that equality is not a priority. Instead, National would like to focus on the important things, like making deals with casinos and scapegoating beneficiaries for the financial crisis,” argues Queer Avenger Ian Anderson.
“This government is more interested in cutting back rights than extending them.”
Anderson adds that equality is a matter of principle, not personal conscience. “If parties support the principle of equality, they should treat it as such. This is a basic civil rights issue. Conscience votes are a cop-out.”