I was going to stay out of it, however, more than the hype on this way or that way to vote, I want to add another perspective regarding this vote to say YES or NO.
To me, this Gay Marriage, equality debate, is about more than two people who love each other, having the right to legalise their union. Actually, it is about death! Yes! That is right. It is about death, dying and everything in between.
When two people love each other, care about each other, are there for each other in ways that enhance who each other is, then who are we collectively or as an individual, to say whether they should or should not live together in a legally recognised union?
Whose business, is it?
How can two people living together (same gender or not), make any difference to my quality of life? How does them having the same rights in a legally recognised union affect my wellbeing?
Then throw in children, for good measure! Oh shock, horror. Have gay parents? Take it from one who was not raised in a home where there was a harmonious, loving mother and father, doting upon and raising their children. So what if some parents are gay?
Love is LOVE! I’ll say it again, love is LOVE.
I have seen and witnessed firsthand, the devastation and pain when life threatening illness casts a shadow at the door of a gay partnership, or when death comes knocking, and when home care is required and when last wishes and requests have been made.
Take the man, I shall call him “Peter”, who died begging me to ensure that there was a large red ribbon placed on his coffin with a lily as the “pin”. He wanted to be remembered as a proud gay man and have the symbolic red ribbon there for all to see. His parents, were furious these wishes were carried out and fought to the bitter end to have their wishes override their sons. They felt there was no need for any exploitation of the condition he died from. The son won out!
“Jeremiah”, from Croatia whose parents rocked up when I phoned and told them their son had died, demanding the keys to his car, his home and his wallet! They did not even look at the body or say a word to his partner!
“Marianne”, whose religious parents never wanted anyone to know she had died of AIDS. How they lied during the church service, and how those that had cared for their daughter, for many months, were deliberately ignored. How upon her death, the topic of conversation was about, the rights to the books she had written.
“Daniel” who required homecare. His partner, and a team of volunteers looked after him 24/7 for several weeks, until his death. His parents never visited once. Upon being advised of his death, they came and entered his home and stripped the walls of the valuable art, not caring who owned which pieces, or whether any of them were on loan!
This my friends, is what legalising gay partnerships is about. Wills being legal, partners being recognised on death certificates and having a say when life support is to be turned off. Partners being recognised as ‘next of kin’.
Does anyone remember back in January 2016, when Marco’s husband David died after a fall in the house where they were staying in Adelaide? How even though they were legally married in Greece the year before, the death certificate did NOT note the spouse? Such senseless and degrading discrimination! Yet, three Australian families had positive outcomes, because of that fateful fall. Three people received life changing organ transplants. May I point out they were NOT worried the organs came from a married gay man!
What about another couple I have written about before on this blog. Bentley and Matt Harris, a gay married couple, who became parents of Connor in September 2010. He was born through a surrogate mother. Parents and child are doing fine, although there has been much said and written about the ‘mother’ who gave up her rights to the child and her regrets.
I personally know a significant number of gay relationships and marriages that have lasted many, many years, in fact most are still going strong. Forty years or more. They have healthy, harmonious, respectful and loving relationships. Compare this to the many heterosexual couples that I know, where divorce has prevailed. Kids the fallout! Just sayin’.
It is my sincere desire, that this ridiculous discrimination, and pitching against each other (the YES and NO camps) are laid to rest with this plebiscite and common sense prevails.
It’s a YES from me.