Friday, 2 December 2011

Marriage Equality...

There is a lot going on in Australia at the moment around the issues of same sex marriages and civil unions.
This rally is taking place tomorrow and I am considering attending (depending on how I feel and what else comes up between now and then).  The Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, has weighed into the fray and is pushing for endorsement at the Australian Labor Party National Conference (where the march ends tomorrow).  Ms Bligh and her party enjoyed a success on Wednesday when Queensland passed a civil unions bill.  The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, clearly supported homosexual rights at some point as this image from her university days proves.

Personally, I don't know if I am really the marrying type but it does get me to thinking of how my life might be different if same sex marriages were legal and binding a couple of decades ago.  Now remember I have been an out and proud lesbian for close to thirty years.  So which of my partners would I have married?  How many divorces would I have under my belt by now?  Will I ever want to take advantage of this step towards equality in the future?

I'm pretty certain that I would have married at least once and possibly twice previously.  I might have married my long term partner, the one with whom I had The Boy but I'm not sure of that one... we were both pretty laid back and neither of us seemed to feel the need of a formal commitment.  I would definitely have married her if she had a strong desire to do so.  We were together for ten years.  On the issue of lesbians marrying and raising children I wanted to draw your attention to this wonderful video.  The articulate young man in this video would be a credit to any family.

The person I would definitely have married is my disastrous first American partner, I will call her Lucrezia (Borgia).  Possibly the worst relationship in my life, and definitely the most destructive and damaging, I can remember clearly a desperate desire to cement that union.  My life would have been very different if we had been permitted to marry.  The formal process of "Divorce" would have protected me from much of the damage caused by our separation. That's a really long story that I am not going to tell, but believe me I was royally screwed by the US Court system exactly because there was only civil litigation, and no divorce procedure, to resolve the dissolution of our partnership.

So I guess it is feasible that I would by now be twice divorced - that is not a pretty thought.  

The only time I ever did have any kind of commitment ceremony was not with either of these women.  It was with my lover before either of these and it was a terrific party!  Her friend, dressed as the Pope, pronounced us wife and wife "by the authority of the lady at the fancy dress shop".  We were genuinely expressing our love for each other but we were also looking for a good excuse for a party.  If it had been a real marriage, legal and binding, I actually don't think we would have done it.

TLOML and I have already talked about marriage.  It started with a text from me saying, "If we get married I am NOT going to take your name.  I'm sorry but I draw the line at that."  (Remember we both have the same rather unusual christian name.)  She quickly replied, "That's ok because I am more than happy to take yours".  I went on to suggest that it would be very difficult to sort the mail and she parried that we could hyphenate in reverse order.  Clearly we are kidding around... at least mostly...  

So here in this age of acceptance, this day of imminent same sex nuptials, I find that as much as I support the cause, as much as I believe in the principle and the necessity of complete equality, I personally am unlikely to take that step.  I don't need a piece of paper to validate my love and commitment.  I don't need external acknowledgement.  In some ways I would really rather keep the government out of my personal life as much as possible.  That said, if TLOML really wants it - count me in!


  1. I think the possible legality of same sex marriage is a huge step forward for Australia, even if it is state by state. Not everyone is the marrying type whether they're hetero or homosexual. I know hetero couples who have lived together for 25+ years without the need to make it formal in the eyes of either the church or the state. For same sex couples who want to marry, it will be fantastic for them to have the choice.
    Sorry to hear about your disastrous time with Lucrezia - Gawd -!! I believe there is more protection of assets etc here in de facto relationships, same sex included.
    But hey, you never know what's around the corner. Hope it's all good. I had to giggle at the idea of the reverse hyphenated names. Brilliant!

  2. Great post displaced :)

    that's it in a nutshell Carinthia...choice!

  3. I think we should all be equal, on every front.

    Now, if you don't choose to do something like marriage- no biggie. Geeze, if I had married all of my previous long-term relationships, I would be on my 4th husband. Ouch. It's been 15 years for this one, and he hasn't put the pillow over my head yet, so fingers crossed.

    The only thing I know from being middle aged now is that it's a good thing I didn't marry young. I chose poorly, and knew that some of the men I was involved with were patently wrong for me- but figured they were all assholes, so might as well just suck it up. Ah, youth.

    25 years of experience with relationships has taught me that I need to do what is best for me, and stop eating shit. And, I never wanted to marry, ever.

    Fast forward a few years and many medical situations later. I married solely because when I realized that a boyfriend didn't have as much weight legally or medically things had to change. I knew for sure I was with someone of stellar character, and that the piece of paper wouldn't change things. And it didn't. But we were older, realistic, and had been together for years by then. It wasn't an act of desperation, but financial and legal ass-covering (for both of us).

    But I had a choice. Which is what everyone should have. Equal footing. Completely equal in every way- no exceptions. Amazes me that this isn't just a given...