Kiwis get divorced at the same rate whether they get hitched in a civil union or church wedding

NZ Herald 7 January 2017
Family First Comment: “Civil unions were really just a prelude to the arrival of same-sex marriages in New Zealand in 2013.”
Yes – we knew that!

Couples are just as likely to live happily never after if they get hitched in a civil union as a traditional marriage in New Zealand.

Official figures show 3404 civil unions have been registered here since they were introduced in 2005, compared to 274,693 marriages.

However, the dissolution rates are about the same – 9.43 per cent of traditional marriages have been dissolved in that time, while 9.6 per cent of civil unions failed.

The figures released to the Weekend Herald by the Department of Internal Affairs reveal when it comes to a marriage ending in divorce, a church wedding makes little difference.

Auckland-based celebrant Sheryl Mungall believed civil unions could soon be a thing of the past.

“Civil unions were really just a prelude to the arrival of same-sex marriages in New Zealand in 2013,” she said.

“Some people like civil unions because there is less of a religious element to them but most of these unions don’t seem to last any longer than traditional marriages.

“People are people, no matter what they sign or promise. If they want out, they want out … I’m afraid it is just human nature.”

Civil unions were introduced in New Zealand 12 years ago amid a storm of protest from some religious groups.

In the lead-up to the bill being passed, about 5000 people gathered in Wellington for a Destiny Church-organised march against the proposed legislation giving gay relationships legal recognition for the first time.

“I think the civil unions were brought in really to appease the gay community but they have never really taken off,” Mungall said. “Gay people thought it wasn’t good enough and that they were still being treated as second-class citizens because it did not include the word marriage.”
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