Weddings with a Different Twist

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate,
but through being the right mate.  ~
Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner 1892-1958

We joined in the celebrations in New York when the law was passed allowing same-sex marriages.  Our papers today are full of this subject and I guess it is pretty exciting and a huge step forward for many.

Here in New Zealand, we don’t have same-sex marriages but we do have Civil Unions.  Civil union has been legal in New Zealand since April 26, 2005.  In effect, the Act gives the same rights to those of the same-sex as married couples.

There were great celebrations here when the Act was passed, coupled with concern from many quarters as to what this would do to the institution of marriage.  We have been aware that fewer couples marry today and there was discussion in our media recently on the future of marriage as the marriage rate has fallen to an all-time low.  In 2010, there were 12.5 marriages for every 1000 people who weren’t married, the lowest rate since records began in the early 1960s.  Compared to this, Civil unions registered in the same year were only about 1% of the number of marriages.  So I don’t think those who preached hell and brimstone when the Act was passed have very much to worry about.  Many people choose not to legalize their relationship for any number of reasons and people will still go on living together, whether as same-sex couples or heterosexual couples.

Concern was felt in our Historic Church by some of the volunteers and stakeholders, that we would be inundated with requests to hold these ceremonies in the Church.  A note here, the church is still consecrated although it has no congregation and no regular services are held there now.

However, in the period I was the Wedding Coordinator we had only three Civil Unions and only one of which drew the attention of the media.  That was a local politician who ‘wed’ his longtime partner.

So what does the future look like for gay marriages in New York?  We read today in our newspaper that a wedding coordinator in Massachusetts was moving her business to New York City because many of her clients have been from New York.  So will there be a great number of marriages?  I guess we will have to wait and see once the euphoria dies down.

“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself”.  ~
Author unknown, commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin


12 responses to “Weddings with a Different Twist

  1. Only time will tell as to the numbers that choose to wed formally. I’m glad the law passed in NY… Long overdue. 🙂


  2. Very divisive issue here in USA.Even the most conservative Christians are becoming tolerate and accepting of these arrangements. This is a HUGE concession.The objection is calling it a marriage. As long as a civil union grants the same legal, social and familial status as a marriage why can’t the gay community show some compromise in accepting the term civil union? Problem solved. Actually opposite sex marriages are civil unions because the state recognizes the arrangement as a form of contract not certifiable by a church. That’s why you need a marriage license.


    • Yes – it was the term marriage that caused most of the problems here in New Zealand. But the fuss appears to have died down and we are all getting on with our lives as we choose.


  3. I personally don’t approve of it but in the end this issue will wind up in the Supreme Court. You have states that do not recognize them.


    • Here the issue seems to have been put to rest and nobody is calling for civil unions to become marriages. It’s all legalize as couples in civil unions appear to have all the same rights as those of us in marriages.


  4. For the life of me, I will never understand how two people of the same sex who are in love and choose to publicly commit to each other by getting married can possibly hurt my marriage or the institution of marriage. Divorce hurts marriage! Maybe that should be outlawed! By saying homosexual couples should only be allowed a civil union is demeaning. It says, “You aren’t really in love with each other as much as people of opposite sexes are.” It’s about more than legal status.


    • I agree Susan. AS I said above, the fuss seems to have died down here and same sex couples ‘appear’ to have accepted the term civil union and are not calling for marriage.


  5. I was raised a Christian and raised to believe this was wrong BUT that being said, I agree with what “comingeast” said. Gays being married doesn’t hurt me or any one at all, in my honest opinion. I don’t believe it was my right nor anyone else’s right to judge whether the gay lifestyle or gay marriage is right or wrong. If God is love then we are meant to love everyone and I will let God be the judge and not me.


    • Well said.
      We were brought up to believe that everybody had the right to live there life as they wished, with the proviso that nobody got hurt in the process.


  6. Luckily, same-sex marriage has been legal for several years here in Canada…yay for New York!



  7. Well we haven’t yet got to marriage of same sex couples but there doesn’t seem to be any outcry here to move from civil union to marriage.



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