Friday, December 2, 2011

i do

Two gold rings - reflected candles via

Marriage equality is a hot topic at the moment ahead of the Labour Party National Conference. I must say that until recently I hadn’t really given the issue much thought.  Marriage isn’t important to my love and I so I’ve never really understood why others might be keen. I’m all for equality though and since de-facto same sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual de-facto relationships in Western Australia (since about 2001) I never really paid the issue much more thought. I suppose my attitude has been “why would anyone want to get married?”

Six weeks ago my good friend’s partner collapsed in the driveway and then in a matter of hours had passed away. It was a shock. An entirely out of the blue event. Strangely after a death events move rather quickly. The hospital had recognised that my friend was the next of kin, in accordance with the laws of Western Australia pertaining to de-facto relationships. The funeral home acknowledged this also. This is what the deceased would have wanted. However the de-facto mother-in-common-law struggled with this determination. And this is where my attitude to marriage started to change.

Yes, maybe it is true that you don’t need a piece of paper to know that you love someone – but maybe that piece of paper is important to let other people know your intentions. Marrying a person makes it clear to all and sundry that the you’ve chosen your lover, your partner to also be your next of kin.

So.. I do support marriage equality. It’s time to end marriage discrimination.

12 comments:

  1. Sally, I feel very similarly to you. I'm not married either, and often wonder why people want to get married.

    I doubt my MIL would be a problem if M died. If she was, I kind of feel that she would be that way, even if we were married.

    I know of (not personally, just on a forum) someone whose defacto partner died suddenly, and they were not married, she was not included as his spouse on the death certificate. That has me leaning towards marriage, though I really think I'm past the big white wedding. I also feel that this shows a gap in our equality when it comes to death certificates... does this differ from state to state, I wonder?

    I also feel that marriage is generally a religious ceremony, and if churches don't want to marry people because they don't practice their religion, then that is their prerogative.

    Since we have civil services these days though, that aren't affiliated with any churches, then I think it should be okay for anyone to marry anyone they like.

    Who does it hurt? It doesn't water down the significance of anybody else's commitment.

    I support gay marriage.

    (Woah, longest comment ever!)

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  2. I agree! Marriage, like nearly everything else, is a choice. And like voting, or being included on the census, should be available to everyone. We have gone a long way with equality between men and women, we are working hard on equality between the races, this is another area that needs our attention. How wonderful if our children can grow up in a society without discrimination such as this.

    :)

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  3. PS. People get married or don't for different reasons. But for Dave and I, we were married on a beach by a celebrant, with no mention of religion. Our vows stated that we were making a commitment to each other for as long as love lasts and that we wanted to show the world how strongly we felt about each other. :)

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  4. I totally agree. Personally, I think it is ridiculous that this topic is even still being debated. How backwards is our society to not recognise or allow same sex marriages.

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  5. I never thought that much about marriage before we had a baby. We wanted to buy a house and thought a wedding would waste the money we'd been saving.
    But, now we have our house and our daughter and I think it's time I got to call him something more serious then my boyfriend. He calls me his wife and it annoys me! He needs to marry me before he can call me that! haha
    I never really thought about what might happen if one of died, though. Maybe that's what I can tell him to convince him it's time.

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  6. Excellent post Sally. I agree strongly with marriage equality. I've seen a similar not very nice situation happen to someone close to me in a defacto relationship. People do strange things in grief, sometimes very unexpected things and I think that marriage certificates, like Wills, serve the purpose of telling people what matters to you at times when you can't speak for yourself.

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  7. So when is the wedding? My godmum has talked to my sister and I about us getting married, for her it is mainly due to worrying about inheritance laws over here, as in Sweden de-facto is not completely equal to marriage. If I buy a house and we live there our whole lives, and then I die... the house goes to the kids, not to him as we are not married. By law he is not allowed to live in it either. It is stupid but it gives us something to think about.

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  8. I agree that it should be a choice for everyone to make. We are not religious but I felt it was important to be married, not just for us but for our kids (I was 7 mths pregnant) to have that stability that is recognised by being married.....not sure if that makes sense its late but I think because it means something to us it also means something to the kids.

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  9. I have many gay friends and family and see the discrimination every day. Centrelink will recognise same sex partners for benefit payments so they are not paying out two singles and the tax office is quite happy to recognise partners but there even though various States accept gay union to various degrees, there is much uncertainty from hospitals and employers regarding individuals rights. I had an interesting case once at a workplace where I was Union shop steward. A worker's partner's parent was dying and applied for two days compassionate leave to attend as is allowed in their work place agreement. The trouble is their partnership was recognised as significant by the State but Federally it was not. The work place could not find a moral compass let alone a compassionate one and dithered between definitions, meanwhile the parent died and well, it was an emotional mess really. My very best friends are blessed to have supportive families on both sides but that still doesn't mean that should one die, the family could claim all his artwork leaving his partner high and dry. We NEED to get some National action on this and bring it all together.

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  10. I do, too, and thank you for posting this. You are right - the paper does matter to others, whether or not it matters to the couple.

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  11. Oh i'm really pro marrage, i love being married & i love having a husband. I loathe it when the Army refers to me as a 'spouse' or 'partner' & correct them & say "WIFE". I always wanted to get married, but i didn't give too much thought to why & when, it was just in my head. Ditto my husband, he was dying to marry me since i was 19. I was a child bride & 15 years later, i absolutely love that we struck gold with each other.
    I guess in your friend's situation, mine does have a legal, military & death difference, to regular civilians, including getting the flag of a coffin if the worst scenario came about. All in all, i love having his name, ditto our 4 children. I do get people saying "& the children's surnames" so please don't think that anyone EVER considers marriage by default first, they all assume we are using our maiden names (doctors surgeries, schools, businesses). Each to their own. As for gay marriage, goodness, as if they don't have enough discrimination already, let them marry, it's love & important to them. Love Posie

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  12. Hear hear to equity and the choice to marry if you want to for what ever reason you may want to.

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