Ms Louisa Wall, the “openly lesbian” 41-year old Manurewa Labour MP who is “the architect of the most significant change to New Zealand marriage law”, is reported in the NZ Herald today to have “an admission to make – she has no plans to get married”. She is currently in a civil union which could be ‘upgraded’ to a ‘marriage’ if her bill is passed, but she is not interested in doing so.
Her private members bill – the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill – was selected from the ballot and introduced to parliament on 26 July 2012 and is expected to be voted into law at its Third Reading in parliament tonight. It amends the Marriage Act 1955 to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’.
In an interview published in Womens Weekly earlier this year, Louisa Wall said she has been in a civil union since 2011 with partner Prue Tamatekapua (Prue Kapua), a mother-of-two and a lawyer specialising in Treaty of Waitangi issues, whom she met in 2007. They had their civil union ceremony at Te Mahurehure Marae in Point Chevalier, Auckland, where 200 guests helped celebrate their union in 2010.
Louisa told the NZ Herald:
“For Prue and I the most important thing when we wanted to formalise our relationship was to have our parents there. Having a Civil Union satisfied us.”
She added: “That was the only choice we had. If the law does change, and we can marry, then we will be able to have a conversation about that.”
The new bill will mean that couples in a civil union can simply fill in a form to change their status to that of a married couple. But Louisa and Prue aren’t going down that route, she told Womens Weekly.
While comfortable with her own personal situation, Louisa believes it’s vitally important for individuals and couples to have options.
Opponents of her bill have every reason to question her motivation and integrity in promoting her bill given that she and her LGBT (lesbian, “gay”, bisexual and transsexual) supporters have been pushing for “gay marriage” based on claims that civil unions are largely “meaningless” for their community and they need “marriage” instead to be truly happy, fulfilled and able to jointly adopt children. If so, why has the “champion” of this bill shown so little interest in getting married even though her lesbian partner has two children?
When did Louisa Wall conclude that she was a lesbian?
She said she had been too distracted by netball at high school – she was New Zealand’s youngest-ever Silver Fern – to question her sexuality, but began to feel she might be “gay” at age 19.
When she was 21, Ms Wall found a partner and came out to her parents.
“I’ve never not been out,” she told Womens Weekly. “I think I realised I was gay in my late teens and from then on I’ve had female partners. “For me, it’s always been a part of who I am, so I’ve never felt a need not to share that.”
[If it’s true that she’s “never not been out” then how come she only discovered she might be a lesbian at the age of 19? The two statements are incompatible]
After she “drifted apart” from her partner of 10 years, she met Prue while working at the Waiatarau Branch of the Maori Women’s Welfare League.
Womens Weekly reported:
“Now, with Prue at her side and achieving recognition as one of Parliament’s youngest MPs, there is only one thing missing in Louisa’s life – a baby. While she would love to be a mother and has tried to conceive in the past, her efforts have been unsuccessful.”
What is far clearer is that Louisa Wall and her supporters have failed to convince the majority of New Zealanders that there is any good reason that the Marriage Act 1955 should be amended to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. Over half the country oppose her bill. It is clear that Louisa Wall’s bill has split the country and a lesbian woman who has no interest in marriage herself is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to undermine an institution that has served the public good well. Not only does the bill make a mockery of the terms “husband” and “wife” and “marriage”, but it is an attack on the natural and normal sexuality that is engaged in by those joined in the traditional marriage bond. New Zealanders are being sold the lie via state legislation that heterosexual sex within marriage is equal or equivalent to the forms of sexual expression engaged in by homosexuals.
Gay marriage: Wall has no marriage plans. By Isaac Davison
April 17, 2013
Labour MP Louisa Wall: Fighting for our rights. By Vicky Tyler
New Zealand’s Women’s Weekly. 28th March 2013
Meet “your” gay and lesbian MPs
By GayNZ.com Daily News staff
28th November 2011