When two women love each other, share their lives and now motherhood, they think it’s only fair they should be able to marry. This is their heartfelt letter to the pollies.
Dear Julia and Tony,
As new parents of 11-week-old twin girls, we would love to make our family unit official by getting married – just like other consenting adults can.
But we can’t.
Despite being in a long-term committed relationship, sharing property, finances and now embarking on the biggest venture any two people can together – parenting – we are still discriminated against when it comes to marriage.
Sure we share similar ‘rights’ to married couples, and are considered de facto on all counts, but the ‘marriage’ title is one which is sadly not afforded to us. Will it ever be?
As we mentioned Julia and Tony, we are new mums of fraternal twin daughters. Our girls have given us the wonderful opportunity to become parents and we are truly blessed. They have brought us joy and each day we just want to be the best parents we can be.
For us being able to wed would mean completing our family unit. It would also give us the chance to publicly celebrate our relationship, with a recognised marriage ceremony in front of our family and friends. We want to be bound by the marriage commitment and have society recognise this in the same way other married couples are. We also want our girls to know that their mums, who love each other dearly and want to spend the rest of their lives together, can be married just like every other normal couple can.
Julia, you’ve said, “The institution of marriage has come to have a particular meaning and standing in our culture and nation, and that should continue unchanged”.
And Tony you have a gay sister in a loving and long-term relationship and yet you have also said: “I want to see stable, committed relationships, but I do think that a marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman”.
While definitions are important, they don’t always reflect modern standards and they can change.
Not too far back in history there were bans on interracial marriage in western democracies such as America. Julia and Tony, we wonder if in future you’ll look back on this time in Australia’s history with the same feelings of shame that Americans have about the time they told interracial couples they couldn’t wed. It was prejudiced to deny their right to marry then, just as it is to deny our right to marry now.
Guys, you need to get with the times. Even the Queen signed off on a document the other day which contained commitments to end discrimination when it comes to marriage – the Queen!
New Zealand*, England and France are on the cusp of passing marriage equality laws, just as plenty of other nations have. Canada, Argentina, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, South Africa, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and some US states all recognise the legal right for same-sex couples to wed.
What will it take for Australia to catch up?
Although we do not represent the largest percentage of the voting population, we still deserve the same rights as other people. We have hearts that love like everyone else and we shouldn’t be made outcasts just because our hearts beat for the same sex. Love is love.
Serena and Emma