#BAD13 Day 8 – Articles 15 & 16

Here I am glossing over or skipping articles again. Articles 15 and 16 were on the cards for tonight, but Article 16 is so juicy these days that I’ll just quickly repeat Article 15 and leave it at that!

Article 15 states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

It’s another one of those ones that I don’t see the big deal in (SPEAKING STRICTLY from my privileged middle class safety bubble deep within Aotearoa) I am one of those people who has changed their nationality. I was born a Malaysian and decided to take a kiwi citizenship a few years ago (quite a few years ago) I consider myself almost completely a kiwi (apart from an unnatural obsession with rice and a slight aversion to the outdoors) so I guess I’ve taken full advantage of Article 15, section 2. I guess I’ve also lived section 1, I had the right to a nationality, so I used that right, and now I hold a shiny kiwi passport (my second one in fact!)

Article 16 is the fun one today:

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

I totally totally read that completely wrong when I first read it. I’m sure i’ve not been the first to do it either! Article 16, section 1, at first glance, seems to state that only men and women may get married. However, when coupled with Article 7 (the non-discrimination one), Article 16 actually says men and women of full age, may get married to whomever they want. WITHOUT any limitation. Personally, I’m not sure why they felt the need to say “men and women” why didn’t they just say humans… after all it is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, not the Universal Declaration of Men and Women rights! sheesh. To me, this totally discriminates against intersex people who do not identify with either the male or the female gender! It’s ok though, that is the job of domestic marriage legislation, and we are working on that, one country at a time!


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