It seems I’ve imagined a few posts here over the past few months, including one that I know I did start to write in all the excitement of marriage equality passing into law back in April. Anyway, to catch you up if you missed it, exactly four months ago in little old NZ our politicians lead us to this:
(highly, highly recommended viewing to see how historical moments are celebrated Aotearoa-styles)
Like so many other couples around the country we were absolutely buzzing after this – to suddenly have this opportunity that we thought was no where within reach was just incredible. To have the open love and support of so many friends, family, workmates, acquaintances and business was just so special and touching. Not everyone, sure, but more than enough.
We immediately started planning. We found out that, to upgrade our civil union to a marriage, we would need to apply for a license and essentially renew our vows. Okay we thought, it’s a no-brainer, let’s do it…we’ll do it on the first day, just like we did with our civil union back in 2005, and we’ll have a big party to celebrate. We’ve had our big day, we don’t want or need to repeat that but a party for equality? Now that we can do.
For some reason, in New Zealand there is a 4 month stand down period before such laws are actually enacted which means that tomorrow is the first day that same sex marriages can actually be performed. So as I said, we started planning.
But sometime in the past few months, the significance of getting married has shifted somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still incredibly important but as I said before..we’ve had our big day, the one that we put all of our hopes and dreams into. Since that day we’ve spent 8 1/2 years working hard on our marriage and building our family. We’re married. Sure, we need to say those words (again), sign that paper (again) and pay that money (again) to get the full legal and social significance but it won’t change a single thing in our daily lives.
I am still ecstatic and proud that my country has come so far, and that we can now marry, I’m just a little surprised to find it’s just from a slightly different perspective than I expected. Luckily for my marriage though, K has been right there with me in the same quandary so in the last few months we have gone back and forth a million times as to what to do – do we have just a simple ceremony with two witnesses on the first day or wait until summer and have a party to celebrate.
It was a really difficult decision for us to make and we were both equally torn. In some ways it felt incredibly important (because come on, it’s marriage!), and in others we just wanted to get it over and done with. Finally just a few days ago we decided to wait and have a fun celebration in summer. We know this was the right decision, but it doesn’t mean that a part of me won’t be jealous of all of those making history tomorrow (but most of me will be very, very happy for them of course!)
Having said that, thanks to what I like to call “when lawmaking meets common sense”, the date doesn’t matter at all in our case. As we are simply changing the form of our relationship from a civil union to a marriage, the legal start date of our marriage will be the same as that of our civil union (as they are both a legal joining).
This means that when we do get married, we will instantly have been married for nearly 9 years.
Which is awesome, because I really can’t remember another anniversary!