New Zealand

Gay rights groups outraged over straight men who married to win rugby tickets

Matt McCormick, left and Travis McIntosh

Matt McCormick, left and Travis McIntosh Edge New Zealand

Matt McCormick, left and Travis McIntoshEdge New Zealand

Matt McCormick, left and Travis McIntosh

Gay rights groups in New Zealand are fuming over the legal, same-sex marriage between two heterosexual men in a radio station stunt in exchange for tickets to the Rugby World Cup to be held in the United Kingdom in 2015.

Self-described best mates since childhood, Matt McCormick, 24, married engineering student Travis McIntosh, 23, in a rugby stadium on Friday.

Sports journalist James McOnie, who presided over the ceremony, joked that the couple would “come together in marriage but not in other ways.”

The two mean agreed to marry as part of “The Edge Love You Man” competition run by a local radio station that was seeking two best friends willing to take advantage of New Zealand’s same-sex marriage laws to prove the depths of their “bromance.”

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Gay rights activists have condemned the union, calling the stunt “a mockery of the institution of marriage.”

Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support co-ordinator Neill Ballantyne, of Dunedin, said the wedding was an “insult” because marriage equality was a “hard fought” battle for New Zealand’s gay community, reports the New Zealand Hearald.

“Something like this trivializes what we fought for,” he said.

Joseph Habgood of the group LegaliseLove said the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages: “The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at.”

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