The latest marriage equality poll shows that older generation New Zealander’s are less progressive then their younger counterparts.
A New Zealand Herald DigiPoll shows that 60 percent of those who were over the age of 65 believed marriage is only between a man and a woman and that the law should stay that way.
Louisa Wall says that the figures are unsurprising, “Homosexual Law Reform in 1986 divided the country and the 65+ cohort now were late 30s+ when the law was passed by 5 votes. The beliefs and values held then, whatever side you were on, I assume are the beliefs and values held now.
“I want to highlight that there has always been a solid support for equality and non-discrimination of homosexual New Zealanders across the generations and I note that there is now a very marked generational divide for marriage equality as typified by that poll.”
She speaks of figures released this year by other institutions and says, “Notably referenda conducted at Otago and Victoria universities this year found 84% support for marriage equality. This is now an emerging context of the marriage equality korero – the generational acceptance of sexual expression and sexual self determination.
“It is also understandable and I think reflective of the life experiences, understandings and ideas that people grow up with. Some would say they are more conservative and old-fashioned ideas about marriage: and as we know about the history of marriage, it is an evolving social institution.”
Wall believes marriage equality is a great talking point and something that can connect all generations, “I think it provides a great opportunity for all people across generations to converse and share understandings about sexuality, relationships and the options of formalizing relationships.”
“What is the role of marriage in ones life’s journey, what does it symbolize and what is its significance today?”
“These are the types of conversations I hope are happening in families across New Zealand these holidays.”
70 per cent of people under 40 who were polled said the law should be changed to allow same-sex marriages.
| Sarah Murphy