In order to achieve a YES vote in the Marriage Equality postal survey, we need support from people of all ages and from all across Australia. That’s why it’s important that you talk to your friends and family and ask them to join you in voting yes.
Lisa recently did just that. In aid of the YES campaign, the 40-year-old phoned her grandmother while cameras were rolling.
Watch the beautiful (and now viral) video above, and you’ll see Lisa’s grandma has agreed to vote ‘yes’. Here, her partner Hayley shares their beautiful love story in the hope that you might, too.
Lis and I have been together for over nine years. Like many couples, we were friends first which we honestly believe is what gives our relationship such strength today.
We are from different worlds and can attest to the expression “opposites attract”.
When I met Lisa, she was not widely out to her family. Coming from a conservative background, this was something she was always rather nervous about doing, especially with her beloved Gran. In my case, I had been bullied then forcibly “outed” in high school and had already had the uncomfortable conversation with my parents in my late teens (it did not go well).
Over the past (almost) decade together, we have fought numerous battles to get to where we are today. Although not all our family members are supportive, we do have a wonderful village around us who love and accept us just as we are, so we consider ourselves very fortunate.
We have watched nearly all our brothers and sisters, cousins and extended family get married, an extraordinarily bittersweet thing to do. On the one hand you are bursting with pride and love as you watch them walk down the aisle; fighting back the tears and lump in your throat thinking you would give anything to know what it’s like to be on the other side. You cultivate a particular smile to paste over the hurt of debates about place-settings and first dance routines when you’d simply like the right to be recognised as a couple.
As time marches on and politicians (again) dangle the equality carrot in front of us, hurt gives way to anger. Yet another person complains that you should “just have a civil ceremony” or that there are so many more important things for the government to spend time and money on, and every one of these conversations is like a punch in the guts. This is not about ceremonies, gift registries and napkin rings; this is about equal rights, to receive the same recognition and respect as any other.
It’s hard to put into words how frightening it is to imagine not being able or allowed to arrange the funeral of your lifelong love, to be forced into a process where you have to prove the status of your relationship because you cannot produce a marriage certificate. This can take months and you may not be listed as next of kin, meaning that you are not automatically entitled to anything the two of you have worked your whole lives for; all it takes is for your partner’s family to disregard you and your relationship is worth less than nothing.