Jul 112012
Marriage is about love

LUSH Cosmetics staff, customers and supporters will be puckering up for a purpose this Saturday as part of a nationwide ‘Kiss and Tell’ protest. LUSH has invited the public and their pouts down to LUSH stores to kiss in support of marriage for same-sex couples and to sign a petition telling the government to end the ongoing discrimination against tens of thousands of couples and families across New Zealand. The ‘Kiss and Tell’ will be taking place at LUSH stores across New Zealand at exactly 1.00pm. LUSH, in partnership with LegaliseLove, is calling on the New Zealand government to take the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill or the Marriage (Equality) Amendment Bill, out of the member’s ballot and through the parliamentary process. This is an essential step to providing fair and equal rights to New Zealanders.

For one week starting on July 9, LUSH is turning its shops across New Zealand into ‘campaign centers’ where people can drop in to learn about struggle for and rights denied to same-sex couples and sign a petition asking the government to take action and support the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill. To further efforts, LUSH has created a new limited edition Freedom Foamer bubble bar ($9.90) with 100% of the proceeds going to LegaliseLove’s campaign to end marriage discrimination. This uplifting vegan bubble bar is scented with fresh lime and grapefruit and will be available atwww.lushnz.com and at LUSH stores across New Zealand for the duration of the campaign.

Why does marriage matter to a soap company? LUSH believes that all of its employees, customers and communities are valued and should be protected equally. LUSH wants to end the ongoing discrimination against thousands of couples and families across New Zealand. This means everyone ‘“ regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender orientation ‘“ having the freedom to marry, with the same responsibilities, dignity, security and expression of love and equality.

In the current marriage situation same-sex couples are denied the right to express their love in the same way that others can. Their union is given a different name with different rights and then called “equal”. One of the main inequalities is that same-sex couples are prohibited from adopting children under the current Marriage Act, as the word ‘spouse’ is not recognized under civil partnerships. This is unjust and New Zealanders deserve to been seen as equal by law, by each other and through their love to the people they want to spend their lives with.

LegaliseLove President Andrew Cunningham says, “Thousands of New Zealanders are living with their partners. They share a bed, they share meals, they share bills, and they share love, commitment, and ups and downs. Although what they don’t share is a ring with the title of husband or wife. This is legal commitment to love and a life shared and a deprived aspect of many couples’ relationships in New Zealand.

“To be in a relationship that you know is fundamentally not seen as equal by state and society is a hardship no one should go through, and it’s a hardship shared. Same-sex couples share so much, so it is only right they get to share marriage too. The Marriage Amendment Bills recently proposed are an essential step in the right direction, and should be taken by government and put through due process. It is time for us to stand up and support our fellow New Zealanders. Let’™s give them the rights they have been so long denied, and be allowed to love.”

LUSH Campaigns Manager Megan Taylor says, “We believe that that everyone should have the equal right to marry the person they love. Many of our staff, customers, friends and family are not given the same rights as everyone else and we felt, for the sake of our friends, we had to challenge this injustice.”

- “There were 20,900 marriages registered to New Zealand residents in the December 2010 year,” Population Statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said. “A further 2,200 marriages were registered to overseas residents’.

- 273 resident civil unions were registered, of which 73 percent were same-sex unions. (2010)

- The Civil Union Act passed in 2005

- Of 1.7 million people who lived with a partner (according to the 2006 consensus), 5100 males and 6700 females reported living with their partner of the same sex, excluding those those absent from their usual residence at the time of the consensus.

- 1900 of 156700 people of Maori ethnicity with partners reported to be in same-sex relationships, in the 2006 consensus.

- 21% of people living with same-sex partners in New Zealand reside in Auckland.

- Same-sex couples on average have higher pay rates and higher levels of employment. 62% of people in same-sex partnerships are categorised as “professionals”, “managers” or “technicians and trade workers” compared with 56% of people in opposite-sex partners.

- The accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexual parents is 50%, compared to the improbability of any accidental pregnancy in same-sex parents.

- Unless made by 2 spouses jointly, an adoption order shall not be made providing for the adoption of a child by more than one person. (The term spouse does not include civil unions.)

For more information on the campaign please visit:www.lushnz.com/marriageequality