Generations divided over gay marriage

NZ Herald 27 Dec 2012
Pensioners are holding out in a dwindling minority opposing gay marriage – as 2013 looks possibly to be the year for it to become reality. A Herald-DigiPoll survey into same-sex marriages found a stark generational divide: 60 per cent of respondents older than 65 said marriage should remain only between a man and a woman. But 70 per cent of people under 40 said the law should be changed to allow same-sex marriages. Labour MP Louisa Wall, who is behind the bill to legalise gay marriage, said studies out of universities had found even stronger support among young people, above 80 per cent.

…But Family First national director Bob McCroskie said there were other divides, too – men were more opposed than women, and there were differences between rural and urban constituents. “It simply shows it’s an issue that’s polarised New Zealand.” Such an issue should not be decided by 120 MPs, but rather put to a public referendum, Mr McCroskie said. If there was an open debate on the underlying issues – particularly with an emphasis on the fact civil unions had been legislated – he was confident marriage could be left as it is. Gay marriage would become an increasingly contested fight through 2013 and the Government should not be rushing through the process to avoid it becoming an election issue in 2014, he said.

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