By a vote of 44 to 77 the New Zealand parliament passed a marriage equality act this week, adding a bright spot to a week of devastation and mayhem. “Social media” have been sprinkled with vignettes from New Zealand. Two that stand out are a brilliant and humorous speech by a member of parliament and then the announcement of the vote with the celebration and singing of a love song in the country's indigenous Maori language.
I have been waiting for volcanic eruptions to tear the islands apart, but so far, just as the MP predicted, the sun has come up, a plague of skin disease or toads has not broken out, and life has apparently gone on in that endangered sector of the South Pacific. All that happened, according to the MP, is that a percentage of the citizenry of New Zealand have been granted the benefits and protections of marriage as have long been enjoyed by heterosexuals. The institution of marriage has not been undermined, simply expanded. Society has not been imperiled, rather it has been enhanced.
Apparently the enactment of this social legislation has not affected the tectonic plates under the surface of the earth, the meteorological configurations above, nor otherwise incurred wrath from the theological sector. New Zealand has not been, and appears not to be going to be, invaded by armies of queers. In other words, as New Zealand has demonstrated, this issue need not be politicized or theologized. It can be addressed on its merits without additional, irrelevant concerns being raised. It is no more transcendental, and possibly less, than de-criminalization of homosexual acts was. In fact, marriage equality is a logical, sane and progressive step towards fuller recognition of LGBTIQ persons as people in society.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.