NZ Herald 4 May 2012
Civil unions have proved to be almost as durable as traditional marriages in the first seven years since the legal status was introduced. Statistics New Zealand figures provided to the Herald show that 4.4 per cent of civil unions registered in New Zealand from 2005 to the end of 2009 were dissolved by the end of last year, compared with 3.8 per cent of marriages in the same period. The actual numbers – 82 civil unions dissolved out of 1876 – were so small that Statistics NZ demographer Anne Howard said any differences with the rate of marriage breakdown were unreliable…..
Massey University Associate Professor Mark Henrickson, who leads a research project on New Zealand’s gay, lesbian and bisexual communities, said the figures were no surprise. “The percentages look close enough to say I don’t think there is a difference between the civil union and marriage populations, which is not terribly surprising if people go to the effort [to formalise their relationships],” he said. Family First lobbyist Bob McCoskrie, who opposed legalising civil unions in 2005, (wrong – Family First established in 2006!) agreed. “Humans are humans and conflict happens no matter what the sexuality of the relationship,” he said. Figures released yesterday show that 377 couples entered civil unions last year – 168 female couples, 133 male couples and 76 heterosexual couples. Discounting couples who were living overseas, civil unions have held steady for the past five years at between 1.3 per cent and 1.5 per cent of all marriages and civil unions of New Zealand residents. Same-sex civil unions represented only 0.9 per cent to 1.2 per cent of all marriages and civil unions, lower than the 3.9 per cent of young males and 4.7 per cent of females who said they were attracted to the same or both sexes in a survey of 9100 secondary school students in 2007.
Same-sex marriage can last, say wives
NZ Herald 4 May 2012
Grey Lynn couple Diana Rands and Anna Birkenhead are pleased to find that same-sex civil unions can last – but they also feel there is a social expectation that they will break up…. But they also see some reasons why same-sex unions may not last, especially for men. “It’s different for gay men. They tend to be less monogamous. Most of the boy couples we know have gentlemen’s agreements that they can have casual sex, with strict rules,” Ms Rands says.