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Australia looked like a backward hell-hole last week as New Zealand was enshrouded by a “big gay rainbow” at the passing of a bill that, at its third reading, made it legal for men and women who like men and women – in that order – to marry.

That’s what social media told me last week. My gay mates were stoked that a government, if not their own, had given their relationships the same legal weight as heterosexual ones (when Australia hasn’t, and in the near future won’t).

The straight ones were even more ecstatic, weirdly, through a feeling of injustice for their friends or (more likely) a perceived need to impress their open-mindedness in lieu of being gay themselves. 

Instead of dinner and bad holiday snaps, there were pictures of gay icons such as Bert and Ernie moving to NZ. Most popular though was the speech by Maurice Williamson. The National Party MP for Pakuranga is clearly smart above the average, but likely speaks for more people than I or my gay or straight friends do.

Williamson supported the bill, but asked it not be made “into a big deal”. Importantly, he acknowledged those who may not understand or like the idea of a homosexual marriage being the same as theirs.

I, like probably many of you, come from a generation where this bill makes total sense. But I know plenty of people who, for generational, religious or cultural reasons – not from a cruel-hearted place – don’t.

To them, Williamson said “the sun will still rise tomorrow” and “you will not have toads in your bed”. “This is fantastic for the people it affects, but for the rest of us, life will go on,” he said. Amen.

He mocked the priest who predicted a “gay onslaught” and tore to hilarious shreds another who said he’d burn in hell for eternity – his physics degree helped him decide that’s not physically possible.

I especially liked his closing line, about the “big gay rainbow“ over his electorate after the bill coincided with welcome rains.

Perhaps the “big gay rainbow” should be the symbol for anything that doesn’t affect you but makes someone else happy, and therefore is good.

Agree or disagree? Is legalising same-sex marriage that big a deal? letters@tntmagazine.com

 

One-way mission to mars madness 

A thumbs up to the super-smart nutters who have devised a plan to send humans to Mars and to the worldwide media who reported it as though it was going to happen (this stuff never comes true, right?).

Dutch organisation Mars One called for applicants to make the trip, and will decide via a reality TV-style process. But there were a few catches. That it’s a one-way trip is the main one.

Thousands put their name forward, apparently, but likely because they missed the fine print that ensured their doom – at least they wouldn’t be home for Christmas. 

After a few months amid the planet’s weaker gravitational field, it’s said to be impossible to readjust back to Earth’s much stronger gravity. No need to worry about the cancer-causing radiation, then. 

I joke, but I guess good on private enterprise for reaching for the sky – means no one’s tax dollars are going into it.

 

Photo: Thinkstiock


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Opinion: 'Big gay rainbow' good for farmers and same-sex duos, but NZ's breakthrough is no big deal for those not affected
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