Ben, Hong Konger Taiwanese Japanese New Zealander, Male, Gay, 25, Auckland

I am active in Auckland’s GLBT community and on the Rainbow Youth Board.

Here is my personal view of Marriage Equality Bill.

I am gay and I want to get married to the love of my life just like everyone else. I don’t want to say I am civil-unioned in public, I want to be able to say I am married. Civil Union to me is NOT the same as Marriage to me. I want to have my human right to get married to the human I love. This is not just for me, but also many others that feel the same way, no matter their sexual orientation. Not everyone need religion to marry. I respect other people’s religious beliefs, it is up to them how they feel about marriage within their religion as individual choice. I do not want people enforcing upon me what marriage is in their religion, because everyone have different views in numerous religions. As a human being, I just want to have my human right to get married to my special one. It is that simple. Without shame but with honour.

Now my story:
My whole life was in Auckland, and I am very lucky that my high school was and still is very supportive of GLBT students. Students could and still can bring same sex partners to school balls. I came out to my family and they are totally fine with me, even though my family are Christians. My sexuality doesn’t bother them at all, which is fantastic. In fact, my mother told me she still love my first boyfriend and told me to get back with him, that really shows how supportive she is :). Rainbow Youth is fantastic, I first went to one of their social group, because I wanted to meet other people like me. Through Rainbow Youth social groups, I am able to meet all sorts of colourful young GLBT people and made life-long friends. I was a Facilitator at Rainbow Youth, and now I am currently on the Board. Even though I am the only Asian descent on the Rainbow Youth Board, I am still enjoying my time on the board. I enjoy volunteering in the GLBT community, helping out and giving back to the GLBT community.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”