Dear Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee,
I am writing to you on the subject of Senator Sarah-Hanson Young’s Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014.
My name is Lydia, I am 21 years of age, and currently in love with a lovely girl from Canada, named Valerie. I would love to marry her one day.
As it stands, I have more rights in Canada as a visitor than I do in Australia, my own country, as a citizen.
This doesn’t seem fair to me, because I don’t know what I did – other than fall in love with someone of the same gender rather than the opposite – to deserve this treatment. I am writing to you today because I seek change
My partner and I have talked about living in Australia – briefly – but that conversation is often cut short because of the general lack of laws and legislation that protect same-sex couples. Canada has laws that prevent the two of us from being discriminated against – this has played a vital part in our decision-making process, and where we want to live.
I want to live somewhere where my rights are protected, my family is safe and I am acknowledged as a human being. Allowing same-sex marriages to be recognised in Australia could change how I spend the rest of my life, and where I spend it.
I could live in Australia, with my partner – I have that option, if this bill passes. I could make that choice.
This bill affects me personally, right now, but I also know of many friends and family members who would love to see this bill passed, because it could affect their lives directly too. This is a human rights issue.
I want to go home – and I want to be incredibly proud of my country when I do.
(This is the letter I wrote to the Australian Senate committee today – they are asking for community input after a bill was read in Parliament by Sarah Hanson-Young, proposing same-sex marriages performed outside Australia be recognised in Australia. You don’t have to be married to someone of the same sex, or looking to marry outside the country – this issue doesn’t have to affect you personally as it does me, all they want is some input. The bill was read on the 15th of May of this year – here is the link because it’s tricky to find: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query%3DId%3A%22legislation%2Fbillhome%2Fs963%22;rec=0 This isn’t exactly full marriage equality for all, but it’s a step in the right direction and that is more than I could ask for at present. Fingers crossed, anyway. I’ll be watching this bill.)