enjoy equal rights and respect. It means that our nation becomes the 22nd country to enact such legislation, finally. For others it represents an opportunity to support their son, daughter, cousin, neighbour, parent, friend or colleague who does not currently have the right to marry whomever they love. I have lost Facebook “friends” during the lead up to this absurd plebiscite. I have also found many allies. I have been impressed by the unexpected compassion of straight friends and family who have spoken out against the agony that this process has been for those most affected by it. For me, the outcome of this non-compulsory, non-binding postal survey is very personal. It means more than a wedding. It means more than a piece of paper in a frame. The outcome I
am hoping for is that this survey will result in passing legislation that will declare me to be “married”. The rights that come with that label matter in so many ways and for so many reasons. This survey, in fact, determines my future.
precedence as to whether such a document is valid or overrules the heterosexist ways institutions such as hospitals function. Marriage equality will make that unnecessary and mean that we are more than “friends” or “housemates”.
Should my future include hospitalisation of some serious nature, my partner of over 18 years, who shares a ring, mortgage, pets, children and holiday photos with me, is currently not assured the right to sit beside me. This differs between jurisdictions and between institutions. Marriage equality will mean that she can be by my side and make decisions on my behalf, regardless of what state or territory we are in at the time.
I am currently not welcome to be “out” in a number of places of worship. In all honesty that would probably be the same if I was still straight! Of course, marriage equality won’t change such ignorance and selective reading of biblical text - yet.
We currently have enduring powers of attorney so that we can list each other as next-ofkin. Yet there is limited legal
I cannot currently guarantee our children that in the event of my passing, their mother will have assumed parenting rights if we reside outside of the ACT. Those who vote no are saying they are happy for my children to have such uncertainty in their future. Marriage equality will provide my children with that security.
AEU ACT BRANCH