Sunday, August 22, 2010

On Same-Sex Marriage (The New Equal)

I don't live in The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Argentina or South Africa. I don't even live in California (anymore). So I can't imagine what it's like to live in a nation where same-sex marriage is an everyday fact of life. Ten years ago, when I was facing the outside world in Sydney and believing that I had made the best out of an opportunity-laden situation, it never occurred to me that I was discriminated against by the marriage laws of the time. I couldn't even imagine gay marriage being represented as a civil right. I knew that women were still fighting for full equality, but I thought gay people had somehow managed to have it all.

Fast forward ten years, and I'm sick with longing for what I've never had: the opportunity to discard the possibility of marriage with either a man OR a Woman. I consider it my right to vigorously ignore this inalienable right I (should) have to take my relationships all the way to 'the piece of paper'.

I am very passionate about equality and fairness, and I rest in the knowledge that the majority of Australian citizens (60% last time it was counted) support my (and their) freedom of either-sex marriage. As Diane J. Savino notes in her Ted.com speech on the subject, long-term loving relationships that two men or two women have are useful to hetero couples as examples they can learn from. Alternatively, Judge Walker's comments on the institution of marriage make me think that many gay couples would receive a significant self-esteem boost if the government allowed them to achieve marriage status equal to that of their heterosexual peers, friends and relatives. And when more of our citizens are happy, the happier we will all be.

However we create healthy, supportive romantic relationships, we need all the help we can get on maintaining them in maximum condition. Have you had a conversation with ppl close to you who don't support marriage equality recently? The world is collectively changing its mind on this issue at lightning speed, so don't give up hope that those close to you will become more accepting someday (soon).

2 comments:

  1. In 2006, Charlene Strong lost her wife of 10 years, Kate Fleming, in a flash flood accident in Seattle, Washington. At the time of Kate’s hospitalization, Charlene was denied the basic right to be by her partner’s side, and was refused dignity and respect following Kate’s passing, as the funeral director dismissed Charlene’s existence in funeral preparations.

    Here she is in a clip for the US Census Bureau, telling her story and how the 2010 Census could help gays and lesbians.
    Check out the link...
    http://www.facebook.com/formywife?v=app_2373072738&ref=ts#!/formywife?v=wall&ref=ts

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  2. Thanks for that, Anonymous... As someone else said on the Facebook page, "Justice for all is not optional."

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