TVNZ released a poll last night showing that 63% of kiwis support same-sex marriage. This comes on the back of a ResearchNZ poll last year which showed 60% support. The message is clear: kiwis support equality. So why won't Parliament act?
There are a couple of reasons for this. The most obvious one is Parliament's demographics. From the ResearchNZ internals, there's a strong difference in views with age, with support at 80% among under 35s, but only 44% among over 55s. And guess which age group is massively overrepresented in our parliament? Old people. Guess which one is massively under-represented? Young people. The future may belong to us, but for today we're still in the clutches of old bigots.
(Support is also higher amongst women than men. But again, guess which group is systematically under-represented? Women)
With demographics like this, I think its fair to say that Parliament is going to be behind the public on this issue, and are going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern world. Meanwhile, voters may want to consider how to get a more representative Parliament which doesn't so obviously privilege the views of old rich men over those of everybody else.
The second reason is fear. That one third of bigots? If the experience of decriminalisation, anti-discrimination, and Civil Unions is anything to go by, they're going to make a hell of a lot of noise in an effort to preserve their hate, and it will be extremely unpleasant for anyone who sticks their head up on this issue. Its understandable that no MP wants to go through that. And OTOH, stuff like that is one of the reasons we pay them so well. If they don't want to do their fucking jobs, and deal with the issues of the day, then they should fuck off and work in a bank. I'm not interested in paying MP's $140,000 a year (plus slush fund) to shirk their duties and dodge the issues.