On Saturday I headed to Auckland.
The Daughter was performing in a water ballet titled Swan Song. I was delighted when I discovered earlier in the week that a parade was being held in Auckland that afternoon, and The Daughter, as well as a friend who was also up from Katikati and I headed to Ponsonby Road to watch.
The Gay Pride Parade was held after a twelve year absence from Auckland’s streets. Back in 2001 the Hero Parade as it was known was held for the last time. The Hero Parade was a bit more raucous than Saturday’s, but I think that Saturday’s parade has a better future in store for it.
Among the thousands lining the streets I was thankful to see that families were out in force to support the parade. Grandparents, parents and children of all ages were taking part.
From a very young age I have known and cherished the friendships of people from both genders, from different corners of the world, different financial circles and different sexual orientations.
I guess I was lucky. At one of my jobs I was privileged to meet [for the first time I knew it at least] some wonderful people who were both lesbian and gay. I grew up in a time and a family that neither understood or embraced those that were different from the ‘norm’.
They taught me real love should be taken and given where ever you find it. They showed a naive young girl that despite what I had been taught growing up they weren’t bad, evil, different or abominations. They were just like me. People trying to find their way in this thing we call life.
I have never understood the fear that homosexuality generates with some sections of the community.
At present New Zealand is debating a Marriage Bill that will finally allow gay couples to wed. It is long overdue. Although the New Zealand Marriage Act of 1955 does not ban marriage between those of the same sex in 1996 three lesbian couples were denied marriage licenses by the Registrar General. Since that time court cases have been fought and sadly lost in the fight for equality.
From the moment the bill was brought before our parliament for debate I have listened to some rather odd propaganda against it.
I have seen marriage declared a sacrament of the Church as an argument against gay marriage. John Calvin [a French theologian and pastor during the time of the Protestant Reformation. He was also a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism] said of this: “Lastly, there is matrimony, which all admit was instituted by God, though no one before the time of (Pope) Gregory regarded it as a sacrament. What man in his sober senses could so regard it? God’s ordinance is good and holy; so also are agriculture, architecture, shoemaking, hair-cutting legitimate ordinances of God, but they are not sacraments.”
I have read that the crime rate will rise. That disease in plague proportions will return.
There was even a suggestion of communism riding in on the back of homosexuality to destabilise the country. Oh and the weirdest one was that my grandchildren will be at risk of ‘catching’ the homosexual bug.
Seeing families out for the afternoon at the Gay Pride Parade gives me hope for the future. Hope that the children there will grow up knowing that all should be free to love regardless of gender. And that all should be free to marry those they love, if this is what they want.
Sadly on the way to Auckland, when I stopped to take photos of a shag…the Canon 5D broke. Apparently it is a known fault.
Though it did give me a few bad moments when it happened as the camera is a photographer friend’s. So for now the Lumix and I are on our own.
- Capture: Auckland Pride Parade (publicaddress.net)
- Gay defence force staff march in Auckland Pride (radionz.co.nz)
- Pride Parade draws huge crowds (nzherald.co.nz)
- Gay Pride parade entertains Aucklanders (radionz.co.nz)