John M. Becker

Straight Guys to Marry for Rugby Tickets, Outraging LGBT Groups

Filed By John M. Becker | September 11, 2014 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: gay marriage, heterosexual privilege, marriage equality, New Zealand, privilege blindness, same-sex marriage, sanctity of marriage, straight privilege

straight-male-new-zealanders-marry.jpgWith their high divorce rates, reality-TV wedding competitions, and drive-thru wedding chapels, it's beyond dispute that straight people -- some of whom still comically accuse same-sex couples of making a "mockery" of marriage -- have been doing a damn good job mocking marriage all on their own. But as a repugnant story out of New Zealand shows, some straight people are apparently not content defiling opposite-sex marriage, but want to trivialize same-sex marriage as well.

Tomorrow, in a move that's horrifying local LGBT advocacy groups, Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick -- two straight male New Zealanders -- will marry to score rugby tickets as part of a radio station promotion called "Love You Man." News Corp Australia reports:

Heterosexual best mates McIntosh and McCormick, who have known each other since the age of six, are getting married as winners of a competition run by The Edge radio station in New Zealand.

After more than 200 entries, McIntosh, a 23-year-old engineering student at Otago University, and McCormick, a 24-year-old teacher at Musselburgh School in Dunedin, were chosen from three bromance couples to win an all-expenses paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

The catch was that the buddies had to get married -- a same-sex wedding -- and they will do that tomorrow in front of 60 family and friends at New Zealand's home of rugby, Eden Park, in Auckland. A celebrant will make the union legally binding, the marriage will be streamed live on the radio station.

The men, who say they are still deciding what to do about last names and claim that their marriage will last at least two years, insist that no offense is intended by the ugly stunt. "We are not here to insult anyone. We are here to do our own thing and travel our own path," McCormick remarked to the Otago Daily Times. McIntosh added, "It's just seeing how far two good mates would go to win a trip to the Rugby World Cup."

But LGBT equality advocates in New Zealand, where marriage equality was passed last year after a hard-fought battle, are appalled. Calling the wedding an "insult," Otago University Students' Association Queer Support coordinator Neill Ballantyne said, "Something like this trivializes what we fought for."

Added LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chair Joseph Habgood, "The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at."

Personally, I find the whole episode utterly vile. McIntosh, McCormick, the Edge Radio Station, and everyone who entered, publicized, or otherwise participated in this contest should be ashamed of themselves.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments section -- and feel free to let the station know how you feel on Facebook and Twitter.

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