It’s been ten months since the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill became law in New Zealand. Bob McCoskrie, still outraged at the idea of loving couples being joined in marriage, has resigned as a marriage celebrant in protest. So I’ve decided to fill his spot.
Same-sex marriages started six months ago and since then hundreds of gay New Zealanders have been able to share in the institution of marriage and be protected by the same laws that heterosexuals have enjoyed for so long. The world did not end and marriage was not destroyed. All that happened was that marriage was made stronger.
Bob McCoskrie clearly isn’t happy at the general lack of armageddon and has used the day of Auckland’s Big Gay Out to announce that he has
resigned as a state-sanctioned Marriage Celebrant.
Bob claims that he was aware of other celebrants who had adopted the same stance but the New Zealand Herald has reported that this does not seem to be the case. He says that he cannot perform marriages because he does not believe in a definition of marriage that allows people of the same gender to marry.
I once said that I would not get married until New Zealand supported a definition of marriage based on love and commitment instead of gender. The law passed in April, I proposed in June and we’ll be married early next year.
At the time of the marriage equality debate I thought about the fact that there would be so many new couples wanting to get married. I thought that perhaps I could become a celebrant and officiate over some of those couples when they would be turned away by people like Bob McCoskrie.
Life got busy and I forgot about becoming a celebrant. It was always in the back of my mind but the only wedding I’ve really been focused on is my own. That was until this past weekend when I got a couple of reminders.
First, while attending a friend’s wedding I was impressed by the first-time celebrant who had registered for the purpose of marrying these mutual friends. This rekindled my thoughts of becoming a marriage celebrant.
The second reminder was Bob McCoskrie’s own announcement. If he had resigned because he believes that marriage has been weakened then I should fill that gap, because I believe that marriage has been strengthened.
I’m now beginning the process of filling out forms and gathering letters to support my application.
I say “We do!”