Marriage law debate 'embarrassing'

Last updated 10:45 28/02/2013
Stuff Nation
Rebekah Hiller
MISSING OUT: Everyone should be able to enjoy a first kiss moment as a married couple.

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What does marriage mean to you?

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I never bought in to the idea of marriage. I did not, and still do not, believe that it is necessary to make a relationship valid or healthy.

However, as I grew older, I began to understand that when it came to things like medical emergencies, the death of a parent, and other such situations, marriage certainly held some ground legally.

I am now married. I married my husband because of a mixture of romantic and practical reasons. We are a from two different countries, New Zealand and Germany. We were friends for several years, and when our relationship blossomed we had a strong desire not to be separated. That was when we began discussing marriage.

Being very close friends for years, we already knew each others' view on marriage long before we were ever romantically involved. We both thought that it was nice for some people, if that's what they were in to, but we weren't in to that. It was just 'a piece of paper'.

It turns out that that piece of paper can be life changing.

We love each other completely. We had all the traditional, romantic reasons for getting married. We also had practical ones: We could acquire a visa for each other's country, enabling us to stay together easier. It made things like health insurance easier (easy to ignore if you are in New Zealand, but over here in Germany, that stuff is complicated and very necessary).

After being man and wife for a while now, I am still always surprised when people ask me "how's married life?". I usually reply "just like relationship'd life, just with more paperwork". This is a generalisation of course, there is a lot more to marriage, but the statement is still quite true.

I believe that marriage strengthened our already strong bond to one another. I love calling him my husband.

What I hate to think about is: What if I were not a woman? What if we were two men in love, in the exact same situation? Civil unions do not give the same rights or entitlements as marriage does. I find it disgraceful that if my reproductive organs were different, that I would not have been able to marry the love of my life, and ensure that we could stay together.

Marriage is not necessary, but it is wonderful. I do not think that anyone has the right to prevent two consenting adults from having their love recognised socially and legally.

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This is not a religious debate. We did not get married in a church, nor were we married by a religious person. We ourselves are not religious!

This is a simple matter of church being separated from state, and it's about time we moved forward and finished this embarrassing chapter of our history.

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