I’ve blogged many times about marriage, I’m hoping that one day I’ll be accepted as a full citizen in Australia and be allowed to marry the man of my dreams, (position currently filled, no need to apply, there isn’t a waiting list).
Michael, my Registered Partner (as I’m not supposed to call him my husband), has written a letter to Kelly O’Dwyer, Federal Member for Higgins. She’s on the Liberal (conservative) side of politics and thinks that civil unions and not marriage is the solution.
Perhaps you’d like to contribute and tell your personal story too. Everyone who thinks all Australians should be equal should jump on the Australian Marriage Equality Website and take some action.
Here’s Michael’s letter.
16 December 2011
I have been in a relationship with my partner Gregory for over three (3) years now. We are committed to each other and have a solid, loving relationship. We even registered our relationship at the Victorian office of Births, Deaths and Marriages on April 21, 2010 for legal reasons as we had not been living together two years at that stage.
Gregory was previously married to a woman, and together they had two children Tomas and Caitlin. Now 17 and 19 respectively, Gregory has been the primary care-giver to his children for most of their lives. They are still dependent on him and are living in the family home, that I also live in.
Gregory has nine (9) living siblings, and one sister who died last year. All of his siblings have been married.
I have a very good connection with Gregory’s family and get on well will all of the people we see in his family. Geographic separation makes it hard to connect with them all.
As Gregory’s partner, I feel that our relationship is not equal to that of the rest of his family. Gregory is not looking to have any more children and I am not looking to start a family at the age of 42. If it were an option, ie via surrogacy, adoption etc, if Gregory didn’t already have two children, and if we were both younger, we might have considered having a family.
My family are extremely welcoming of Gregory into my life and into their family. He is close with my parents and my brother’s two children Justin (7) and Sarah (8) adore him as much as they do their uncle Michael.
Gregory’s sister Angela has two young children Alice (7) and Abbey (5) and they adore their uncle Gregory and also me when we visit them.
As you can see, we have very warm, loving families, our relationship is accepted by our families and we are equal on every level except that we are not allowed to get married to each other. This hurts both of us deeply.
We are not allowed to have a legal recognition of our relationship in the eyes of the government. This denies us the same status that Gregory’s 10 siblings attained in society, the same status his parents attained over 60+ years of marriage, the same status my parents have attained over 45+ years of marriage, and the same status my brother has attained after 12+ years of marriage. It also denies us the same status my two cousins attained after two marriages and one divorce each.
Are Gregory and I not good enough for marriage? We know marriage is not about children, but Gregory has his children, doesn’t want any more, and I’m too old to sensibly start a family now. Yet we’re not too old to get married, and we’re not too old to continue showing our love to each other, for another 40 or so years.
There is no reason the law should discriminate against us simply because one of us isn’t female. Our relationship is as good as that of any heterosexual couple.
Please take the time to consider this and about giving all Australians equal rights, because we are all equal.