When vows don't work out there's equal strife

By Andrew Bonallack

1 comment
Melissa Ray and Tash Vitali, right, tied the knot on the day same-sex marriage became legal last August, but the NZ Herald have reported the pair might have parted ways.
Melissa Ray and Tash Vitali, right, tied the knot on the day same-sex marriage became legal last August, but the NZ Herald have reported the pair might have parted ways.

THE editor in me knows perfectly well that there is a newsworthy angle in the first same-sex married couple apparently breaking it off.

Melissa Ray and Tash Vitali tied the knot on the day same-sex marriage became legal last August, but the NZ Herald reported yesterday that the pair might have parted ways.

Sure, it is a bit tacky to do the "entertainment" bit, using a perfectly ordinary couple who happened to be the first gay couple to marry in New Zealand. But the pair won the all-expenses wedding in a radio competition, so I guess when someone else is throwing thousands towards your happy day, you've got to take a bit of publicity in the bargain.

If you're the first to try something, then it follows it will be moderately noteworthy if it doesn't work out.

What I like about the story is that it demonstrates there is nothing extraordinary about a gay marriage break-up.

It reminds me of a joke a comedian made when same-sex marriage arrived. The joke was that finally gay couples could go through the same strife and hassle as hetero couples. All was equal.

To me, true equality is in the axiom that all relationships take their chances.

The media have enjoyed getting involved in the drama that was the same-sex marriage debate, and the build-up towards the day when the right to do so became law. But people often cite the stats about how many marriages end in divorce, and divorce isn't going to be any different just because you're the same sex. In the end, it's two people who made a commitment, and made vows, but it didn't work out.

There's been 668 same-sex marriages since the law came in to the end of March. I have no doubt that many of these couple will become old married couples. I praise the early ones - and the first - for being pioneers to a new concept, and I certainly won't apologise for the media taking an big interest in them.

But I think the wedding is over now, and indeed the honeymoon. Welcome to married life, all you couples out there. From this point, it's pretty much the same as everyone else: combining the daily issue of who takes out the garbage, to reminding each other how much you love each other.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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