Tag Archives: Civil Union

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

 

Postscripts, promises, proposal and pledges

If you read my earlier blog on While Walking the Dog you might remember the words that were written on the pavement.  I have looked each day to see if there has been any alteration to the words, and today, hooray there was.

A postscript had been added that said :

“I really do love you.  I will love you forever” and under that in a different hand was written “I love you too.  If you marry me I will love you forever and ever until I die”.  And then as a further postscript in the first hand was written “YES! YES! YES!”

I am so happy for that unknown couple.  I hope they live a long and happy time together – that they grow old together in harmony.

Or maybe they are not young.  The story that I concocted for them had them as two youngish people, maybe in their 20s and I pictured them as a heterosexual couple.  Maybe I am wrong on all counts.

They may be an older couple coming together after a long time apart.  In this story they knew each other when they were young and drifted apart.  They each married other people and now they are on their own and have met up again – maybe through the internet.   I actually have a friend for whom this story was true except that they didn’t meet up again through the internet.

Maybe it is a gay couple.  In my version of this story they have been torn apart by family who don’t/won’t accept their sexual preferences.  And now they have overcome these objections and they can get together.  Here in New Zealand same-sex ‘marriages’ are legal.  They are referred to as Civil Unions rather than Marriages.

In my role of Wedding Coordinator at Old St Paul’s we conducted several Civil Union ceremonies a couple of which were very solemn and moving.  I am quite sure they will last as couples and will grow old in harmony.

So to the couple who have made Postscripts, Promises, a Proposal and Pledges on the Pavement I send all good wishes for a long and happy future together.

“Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” – Amy Bloom, American writer 1953 –

 

Roses