READER REPORT:

Do you take this woman to be your wife?

HANNAH SPYKSMA
Last updated 09:53 17/09/2012
Hannah Spyksma
JASON OXENHAM/Fairfax

WILL THEY GET MARRIED?: Hannah Spyksma with her partner.

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Last month I watched a look of panic spread across my partner's face as I told her Louisa Wall's Marriage Equality Bill had been drawn from a Government ballot.

Early this year we had discussed what commitment meant to us, me reassuring her that getting hitched was a subject that would only be brought up again if same-sex marriage became legal.

I guess she wasn't expecting that prospect to present itself so soon and her reaction was pretty clear: "Don't go there, girlfriend".

So, gingerly, I set about telling her why, despite us only being in our early 20s and with no intentions of me proposing anytime soon, I would be keen to see the bill passed into legislation.

I chose my argument carefully and started with a relatively safe topic: students and loans.

We both went to school, then studied and both blew our diets on noodles in order to be contributing, respected members of our society with options for the future, I said.

Not to then, as we worked hard to pay off those loans, be denied a basic human freedom because we met and fell in love with each other.
She nodded in calm agreement - calm being her strong point, not mine.

It's not about getting married anyway, I said convincingly.

Even if we've no plans to tie the knot that doesn't matter.

As consenting adults we should be afforded the same opportunities in all aspects of the law as our heterosexual peers.

''Yeah,'' she said, ''Even criminals seem to have more rights than us.''
Good point - I launched into a new tangent.

So that pretty much means the people who assaulted one of our dearest friends - a sweet, caring, and hardworking man - could get married but our friend doesn't have that ability.

He ended up in hospital simply because he walked down the street with his boyfriend.

So badly was he beaten that he can no longer remember most of his childhood and had to be taught to speak again.

It's not that having this bill will mean that homophobic bullying will stop, I admitted.

However, if this passes with support at the highest level then it sends a clear message that sexuality is not a reason for discrimination.

From there a standard is set that filters down so hopefully the generation we end up leading - thanks to those qualifications, of course - will not lose memories of the childhood they're in now, just for holding someone's hand.

By this point I was beginning to rant, I realised and stopped talking.
''Drink?'' I said.

We stood in the kitchen in silence, my bag still on the floor - nothing unpacked from my day at work yet.

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You know, I thought, it doesn't matter what kind of relationship you're in - gay, straight, whatever - marriage is an uncomfortable subject if you're not ready for it.

So can we please just get on with passing this law so I don't end up ruining my chances of a future with this beautiful woman by scaring her away with all my talk of commitment.


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