I do not get it

We all have some limitations when it comes to being able to comprehend things. I for example do not get why the LGBT community is upset about the publicity stunt in which two best mates got married to win a radio competition.

Gay-Marriage_620x310

First some background information for the benefit of the readers not familiar with the story. The Edge, who are an Auckland radio station known for pushing the boundaries, offered an all-expenses-paid trip to the Rugby World Cup 2015 to two straight males who would get married in a public ceremony. This stunt took advantage of the recently introduced law changes which made it legal for persons of the same gender to get married in New Zealand. Two best mates from Dunedin, Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick, took up the challenge and tied a knot in front of family and friends at Eden Park – Auckland’s premier rugby ground. Those present apparently had good fun and The Edge got plenty of publicity worldwide. So far so good.

It was with some surprise that I found from the article in the New Zealand Herald:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11322617

that the gay community was “horrified” by these events.

Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support co-ordinator Neill Ballantyne, of Dunedin, said the wedding was an “insult” because marriage equality was a “hard fought” battle for gay people. “Something like this trivialises what we fought for.” The competition promoted the marriage of two men as something negative, “as something outrageous that you’d never consider”, Mr Ballantyne said. Legalise Love Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood said the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages. “The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at …”

I thought the whole idea of the gay marriage bill was to remove the judgemental discrimination from the law and make the joys of marriage available to all. The equality which the gay people fought hard to achieve means that the law now treats all couples the same. Heterosexuals were never asked why they wanted to get married, let alone whether they slept together. While most mixed-sex couples may be romantically involved it would appear to me that friendship, support, convenience and money also do play a part in many cases. But – most importantly – their motives for saying “Yes” are completely besides the point. Conversely, it is none of Neill’s or Joseph’s business why the rugby mates from Dunedin decided to get married. The LGBT community does not own the institution of marriage and the fact they do not approve of the reasons why some people decide to walk down the isle is irrelevant. In the spirit of inclusiveness all relationships, be they platonic or otherwise, should be appreciated and celebrated.

There is another aspect to the story which is also worth considering. What if the rugby boys are in fact a gay couple reluctant to come out? How silly would it make the objections of the LGBT activists look?

“Maybe on the day that statistics around mental health for LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex) people are better, when high schools are safe places for LGBTI youth, we can look back on all this and laugh. But competitions like this don’t bring that day any closer.”

I did not realise the LGBTI people are so fragile mentally that marriage vows exchanged by a couple they do not even know personally can throw them off balance. If this is the case, they should toughen up. In this Brave New World we are so keenly embracing emotional resilience will be essential for survival.

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