The topic of ‘marriage equality’ is on the tips of lots of peoples tongues, it’s a current debate that is being chatted about on social media, the press and in pubs, homes and among friends world wide. For me, the fact that it is being talked about all over the world is a great thing. There has been a time not so long ago that it was brushed under the carpet, not discussed or debated about; with no conversation there can be no development! All points of view are important and the discussion is essential in order to move forward.
Why IS it important, why should we vote for marriage equality across the world in countries where it is an option? It’s simple, we should ALL have the same choices, the same rights as any other person when it comes to love and marriage. It should not be anyone else’s decision as to who I can or cannot marry if I decide that to marry is right for me. To be denied that right just because ‘that’s the way it has always been’ is backward and not equal. Is it discrimination and matters more to homosexuals probably more than heterosexuals realise. Lesbian & Gay couples are still locked out of marriage in many countries around the world. If society is telling Young LGB people that same sex marriage is not permitted and not recognised, it is damaging for their well being. How is a Young Person to learn to accept themselves if society is telling them that they cannot love equally?
Lets look at some of the facts; there are social, moral & legal reasons as to why it’s important that same sex couples should be able to marry and not just have a civil partnership.
1) A civil partnership is a legal agreement where as a marriage is something recognised by a community; it’s a loving, committed declaration. Without the ability to marry the community is telling the gay & lesbian couples that their relationship is ‘less than’. It is not important. For Young People to see this may prevent them being themselves.
2) In a civil partnership I cannot call her my ‘wife’. This is a strong word that tells other people that she is mine, forever, unconditionally and we have committed ourselves to each other. If I was to choose to live abroad my ‘wife’ could have an automatic extension of my move for work etc. If it was a civil partnership, in many countries this would not be the case. My ‘partner’ may not be able to immigrate with me.
3) Not only in life is their discrimination but also in death. If I were to die in a car crash my ‘partner’ may have to go through lots of issues with trying to see me because she is not my ‘wife’. If I was to pass away as a wife it would be easier to share a grave, she could decide this as opposed to the council doing it.
4) If myself and my partner decided to have a family it would not be recognised as a ‘family’ by the state/country because we are not married. We would not have the same legal family protection. Again this is discrimination.
5) Pension rights for a partner in a same sex civil partnership is also different, the spouse would get less then someone in a marriage if their partner were to die.
6) in a civil partnership both parties do not have to take vows. There are grey areas with regards to adultery saying again that the civil partnership is worth less and is not as important as a marriage.
Personally I would like to have the choice to marry, to have the same rights as a heterosexual couple. I would like to be able to write vows and say them to the right person in any building that I would like to be married in. To have the choice to say those vows in front of friends and family and for it to be recognised in the community is a basic human right, one that we should continue to fight for. So think carefully when you vote and think about who is going to help us all continue to move forward.
xx The Outing xx