Incase you haven’t noticed Australians are currently voting on whether or not Samesex couples should be allowed to Marry and enjoy the same protections and legal privileges that straight couples enjoy.
We are having this “survey” because successive Australian governments have refused to do their job and vote on the issue. Now our community has to beg to be treated equally and be subjected to two months of the most awful things being said about our families and relationships.
I’ve never been opposed to Samesex marriage but when it was first spoken about over a decade ago I didn’t really pay much attention to it. Not being able to get legally Married wasn’t something that I considered an obstacle to being with the person I loved, to me marriage has always been symbolic. It did however matter to my partner at the time. When I brought up my hopes to one day get married his response was that there was no point because it wouldn’t mean anything. That one sentence broke my heart. I stopped investing in that relationship of five years for many reasons and the lack of a solid future together was one of those reasons. I can’t help wondering how many other relationships were damaged or cut short because of that feeling.
I’ve never been interested in getting married in a church. Religion holds no attraction to me.Now for me marriage has changed from being a symbolic recognition of my relationship to being about equality under the law. I don’t have a family yet myself but I see the families of other GLBTI couples and their children and they deserve all the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. As I get older having my partner recognised in Law as well as by my family and friends is becoming increasingly important to me to protect my self and them, we all want to protect the ones we love. As many supporters of marriage equality say it’s not in life that it will matter most but in sickness and in death. The thought of being in hospital and not being allowed to visit or be visited by my partner or husband is a very real possibility and not being able to attend a funeral or having to suffer the indignity of fighting for recognition at a time of great grief is appalling.
The longer the fight goes on the more I want this for my community. It began selfishly me but over time my reasons for supporting it have become broader and more community based. I see it now as a fight for our humanity, to have the dignity of our sexuality and our love recognised as equal. It’s something I wish I was home for.