#DearPM: Marriage Equality (19 of 30)

Good morning,

It is day 19 of the #DearPM project. I’d love to get a response from Malcolm Turnbull, especially if it is to say “I’m allowing a conscience vote on this issue, because I know it’s the right thing to do.” It’s probably wishful thinking. I’m old enough to know that it’s unlikely. But I’m desperate to be proved wrong.

Today’s submission is from my outstanding and kind sister-in-law (well illegally, at this stage) Lucy Holman, whom is devoted to equality. She is kind and a beautiful person who has always stood up for my husband and me.

Lucy was one of the two people who witnessed our marriage certificate. I feel like I have her seal of approval as a husband to her brother!

Take care,
Damo

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

3 December 2016

#DearPM: Marriage Equality (19 of 30)

To the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP,

On day 19 of this project, I share a letter from my sister-in-law. Lucy Holman is one of two family members who were able to make the trip to the other side of the world to attend our wedding.

When we were leaving to get married in July of 2015, the Liberal Party was due to discuss it in the party room. Almost everyone we know joked that we’d get home and there’d be marriage equality. Some even asked if we would wait, so they could be a part of our big day. My husband and I thought, at best we’d come home to a future that included our equality. Then in August 2015, a little over a month after we were married, marriage equality was delayed again. It affected me more than I expected. And now it feels like it will never happen.

We were so lucky that Lucy could join us in the UK and that she was able to be a witness to our marriage. It meant so much to both of us to have such an important person be a part of our day.

It’s time for marriage equality.

I was fortunate enough to have travelled to Scotland in July of 2015 to see my brother Jacob and his partner Damien get married in the city chambers in Glasgow. It was an amazing trip, only a small group of their friends, our mum and I got to witness it.  

The rest of our large family were back in Australia as travelling to Scotland just wasn’t an option.  Seeing my brother marry the person he has chosen to love for the rest of his life was a very proud sister moment for me. It was a time of great joy and happiness. This was taking place overseas, because it legally cannot happen in Australia. It is incredibly sad for me, knowing that the vows I saw them exchange and the promise they had made to each other is not recognized back home. At the same time, I repeat to myself, that it doesn’t matter. It is only important that those around them, their friends and family, recognize the commitment they have made to each other.

I believe that marriage equality is far overdue in Australia. I have hope in my heart that it is not too far away. That current and future LGBTI couples will no longer be discriminated against. For me there is no difference in the love my brother and brother-in-law share for each other to the love of any other heterosexual couple. They are both well educated, hardworking and incredibly lovely people who are active citizens in Australia. They do not deserve to have to continue this fight, to prove that their ‘worthy’ of the same rights offered to everyone else. It’s time to recognize discrimination in our legislation and change it through what I hope will be the normal process.

At this point in time, there has been a multitude of discussion around marriage equality. I believe that the legislation needs to reflect the views and values held by the community. As a community, I hope we are growing to be more educated, tolerant and understanding.

Marriage equality is going to be reality, I sincerely believe that, but drawing this out longer only harms those already in difficult situations.

Let love win.
Lucy Holman, South Australia

  • What advice has the Prime Minister received on the number of same sex couples who have sought marriage in foreign countries?

This is my nineteenth letter in a series calling for a free vote on marriage equality in the parliament, and in your current term. A free vote is the correct way to legislate for marriage equality. You could allow this to happen today.

Yours sincerely,

Damien O’Meara

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