Phil's submission to the Marriage Equality Inquiries

  • Senate submissions - 2 April 2012.
  • House of Reps submissions - 20 April 2012.

Below is my submission to the Senate Inquiry, to be used as an example only. It might give you ideas of what to write and how to structure your submission. 
It is not perfect, but I think it captures what I want to say.

The House of Reps submission is much easier as it is a tick survey - except for two questions with 250 word limits.
For this submission I have taken parts of my Senate submission and condensed them down to 250 words.

Full details of how to lodge your submissions are at the end of this page:

My Senate submission.

I attach a family photo taken at my sisters wedding. In the photo are myself, my Dad, my Mum, my sister and my brother-in-law. 
  • All the people in the photo are hard working, law-abiding, upstanding citizens with good values, and they contribute to society.
  • All the people in the photo are celebrating the joy of two people in love having their relationship recognised both legally and by the extended family, friends and society. 
Sadly not everyone in the photo has equal rights under law.
  • Despite being a fine citizen, I am denied the right to have my loving relationship recognised.
  • My relationship is denied the validity given to couples by marriage.
  • My relationship is denied the legal protections of marriage - e.g. hospital visitation rights if one partner is critically ill, legal certainty if a couple has any children, and legal/financial certainty if one partner dies.
  • Why? - all because I happen to love someone of the same sex. 
  • My love for another man is identical to the love felt by opposite sex couples - so why the different treatment under law?
Everyone in the photo should have the same right to marry the person they love. Love is love, regardless of who you love, it is all the same.
My desire to have the choice to marry is supported by my entire community - my friends, family, work colleagues, and neighbours - both gay and straight alike.

This is important because I should have the same rights, and have my country treat me with the same respect and dignity as all other Australians.

  • I can go out, find a woman I barely know and who I do not love, get married and immediately have all the rights and recognition of marriage - despite this being a sham. 
  • I can even have a pure business transaction where I receive payment from a woman to marry me so she can gain immigration rights - and this is recognised as a "marriage."
  • I can legally marry my Aunt or niece - Yes, Go figure!!
  • However, if I cherish, adore, respect and love another man so much that I can not imagine a world without him - fulfil each other and love him so much that our love is greater than the sum of us: - this is considered invalid and not recognised!! 

Society is ahead of the govt and the government needs to catch up by legalising same sex marriage:

Same sex marriage is good for mental health and wellbeing:
  • The Australian Psychological Society has endorsed a resolution of the American Psychological Association calling for marriage equality for those in same-sex relationships, on health and wellbeing grounds. 
  • Many young gays and lesbians feel ostracised and marginalised and this can lead to worse health and social outcomes including a dramatically higher suicide rate as shown in these research findings 
  • Legalising same sex marriage will have a flow on effect by breaking down other discrimination against young gays and lesbians making them feel more included in society - ultimately this will reduce suicides and save lives.

Same sex marriage is good for the economy:

My response to - Objections over the need to preserve the sanctity of marriage:
  • People having multiple marriages and multiple divorces destroys the sanctity of marriage.
  • People entering loveless marriages destroys the sanctity of marriage.
  • Australia has a high divorce rate and this destroys the sanctity of marriage.
  • Two people who love each other (regardless of their sex) and aspire to marry, being allowed to marry can only strengthen the institution of marriage.

My response to - Objections that same sex marriage will harm children:
  • Please show me unbiased scientific evidence that allowing gays and lesbians to marry will harm children.
  • Gay and lesbian couples are increasingly having children - it is only fair on these children that they are given legal certainty and protection, for example in the event of the death of their parent.

My response to - Objections on Religious grounds:

Additionally, the likely attempt to repeal Queensland Civil Partnerships legislation, demonstrates the urgent need for the federal government to legislate marriage for all Australians, regardless of gender.

Qld has this month had Civil Partnership become law. Already the Liberal National Party, the Katter Australian Party, and Rob Messenger Independent MP, have all declared they want to repeal Civil Partnerships. 
The Independent MP has even drawn up a Civil Partnership Repeal Bill 2012
In a weeks time Qld will go to the polls and indications are that the LNP will win power - leaving Qld at risk of losing our Civil Unions.
To take away civil rights designed to protect couples and their children is shameful, and demonstrates why the federal government must introduce same sex marriage to protect the Queensland couples who could lose their legal civil Union.

I also attach a second picture showing two water fountains side by side, one marked "Whites" and the other marked "Coloured". Both water fountains provide identical water, however whites get a top-of-the-range fancy refrigerated water fountain, while the blacks get a crappy old non-refrigerated version. The photo is likely from the time of apartheid in South Africa when it was believed that Blacks were inferior and therefore it was justified in giving them less rights - e.g. segregated water fountains, sitting at the back of the bus etc. 
This also signifies the distinction between a national Civil Unions scheme Vs full marriage equality for all citizens. The "Whites only" top-of-the-range fountain represents Marriage - the most sought after (and Rolls Royce) form of relationship recognition. Meanwhile the "Blacks" crappy old basic fountain represents Civil Unions - the "if we really must" form of relationship recognition.

Either you think gays are equal citizens or not. If fully equal then we deserve marriage - if you believe gays are only 2nd class citizens deserving of less rights, then you will support Civil Unions. It's that simple.