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.