I am, in many senses, tediously conservative. I am white. I am middle-class. I am heterosexual. I work in a well-regarded law firm.

I affect a carefully conservative, buttoned-down dress sense. I aspire to be a husband, a father, and a householder. I believe that privilege is coupled with duty. I enjoy classic English literature, and am uncomfortable with change in a way I find difficult to articulate. I think of myself as a decent New Zealander. And yet I support marriage equality without question. There is nothing about permitting two women or two men to marry each other that is inconsistent with my values in the least. I do not see that a person's sexuality is any of my business. It is certainly not a basis on which I judge a person's character. Marriage equality would therefore facilitate the values I believe in. Put in real world terms, it would be all the same to me if a gay and lesbian couple were to host a dinner party to which I was invited, or asked me to watch over their children while they went out for the night. The objection could be raised that there is nothing about the kind of quiet, New Victorian suburban life to which I aspire that necessarily requires marriage equality. It could be said that civil unions deliver all of the benefits of marriage without the word marriage. But even if this were true - which it is not, as couples in a civil union cannot adopt children - I would still support marriage equality. It is a question of morality. The notion of 'separate but equal' is, without exception, code for statesanctioned discrimination. 'Separate but equal' was wrong in 1896 and it is wrong now. As I have said above, privilege is coupled with duty. I am fortunate to live in a society which is perfectly calibrated so that my aspirations are achievable. It would be easy for me to do nothing, and let the marriage equality debate pass me by with nothing more than a vague sense of goodwill. But that would be a dereliction of my duty. I genuinely believe it is my duty to record my support for marriage equality. I do not flatter myself that this submission will tip the balance with any of the members of the Committee - but I hope that it adds to the clamor of voices from every part of society in favour of equality, and against the minority of vocal bigots who would have us believe, by virtue of their volume, that they represent the majority of decent New Zealanders who believe in doing what is right. But there is a further reason I feel I have a duty to make a submission. Marriage equality is coming. It is inevitable. Should I have sons or daughters, they will grow up knowing that they can marry the person they love - without qualification. And they will look back on the pre-equality era the same way that I look back on pre-Civil Rights America - with a mixture of bafflement and disgust. As a father, I would hope that I would set an example for my children so that they would develop sound morals. My father certainly set an excellent example for me. And I simply do not see how I could possibly do so with any credibility unless I could tell them that when I had the opportunity to submit to this Committee about whether the time had come for marriage equality, my answer was a simple and unequivocal "yes".