by HELEN RAZER
Look. Look right into my sad, fraudulent eyes. There’s something you need to know.
This is especially difficult as we’ve been getting along so well since we met and first shared our secrets. But, there’s a truth that needs disclosing before our friendship can deepen; before you can learn to love, trust and LOL in the comments again.
Here goes. Ever since I was a little girl, I have found myself deeply attracted to starting arguments. Oh, I’ve also been in a relationship with a gal for the last fourteen years. But, I can’t imagine you find that fact particularly scandalous.
What some friends do find shocking, though, is my willingness to start an argument on the topic of marriage. If you’re in a same-sex relationship, it seems, declaring your support for same-sex marriage is as obligatory as enjoying the music of P!nk.
While I don’t love P!nk, I believe she certainly has her place as the soundtrack to Body Pump class. I am less patient with the idea of reviving marriage, a dying institution, for use by same-sex couples. Frankly, I find the whole thing a bit silly, expensive and well past its Best Before date.
Marriage puts you nowhere but in spectacular debt and at greater risk of uttering the phrase “my hubby”. No-one outside the cast of Geordie Shore should utter the phrase “my hubby”. Really. It makes your domestic partner sound like a nasty rash. “I must get something for my hubby”. “My hubby has been playing up again”. “What am I going to do with my hubby?”.
Please. Get the woman some ointment.
Of course, the public argument is that access to marriage will guarantee same-sex couples the same legal entitlements as opposite-sex couples. And who could argue with that? Certainly not me. Nor my hubby. (Sorry.) What is routinely overlooked in this debate, though, is that in 2008, the Labor Government overturned around 100 laws identified as discriminatory by GLBTI activists and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
Now, I don’t want to get sappy here because, frankly, I’m hoping to make a Body Pump class this afternoon. But I will say these historic laws Changed My Life. This suite of legislation changed many lives radically. You know all that stuff you see in tele-movies about queer people not being able to see their partner of sixty years on their deathbed? Now, thanks to the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, illegal. Yay.
There were so many changes for us. Your same-sex partner can now take parental leave from work; contingent on circumstances, you may not be required to testify against your same-sex partner in criminal proceedings; you may now take carer’s leave if your same sex partner or a member of their immediate family is suffering illness. Oh. And importantly, same-sex couples now access Family Court should their relationship dissolve. The list goes on. And on. If you’re curious to check these entitlements for yourself or a queer friend , you can use this engine.