Why it’s important to remember the children in Australia's marriage equality debate

Marriage Equality. Everyone has a view about it and if the polls are to be believed more than 65 percent of Australians support it, so what’s all the fuss?! Marriage equality advocate, Liam Ryan, explains why it's important to his family.

One of my children asked me a simple question last week: “Daddy why does Mummy have a different last name to Mama?”

You see, I have three beautiful children with two beautiful lesbian mums, and our family life has never been viewed as a ‘disadvantage’, as some would have us believe. At five years old, my daughter doesn’t see anything ‘different’ about having two mums - but she has cottoned on to something a bit odd about them not sharing a last name like most of her friends’ parents.

While last names can be changed, my daughter's question is still symbolic of the many inequalities that come with not having equal rights to marry in Australia.

Marriage equality continues to be a hot debate here.

At a time when many feel like the world is going backwards, people are speaking up and making sure their voices are heard! Frankly, it’s liberating to be a part of.

But beyond the political, marriage equality is, above all, personal.

You see, for me, marriage equality is definitely about being able to get married, but it’s also about not being considered a second class citizen by the country I call home.

It’s about basic human rights.

The big reality here is that there is no alternative to marriage. No matter what you’re told by opponents of marriage equality, anything less than marriage is second rate.

To those detractors who continue to cry “won’t somebody please think of the children?!”, the truth is – I am.

I believe that both mothers of my children – after eight solid years together and three healthy, happy kids – should be able to celebrate their relationship legally and legitimately in front of their nearest and dearest.

There is no way that declaring their love and commitment to each other and finally getting married could be anything but a treasured memory and a beautiful moment for our family.

To anyone reading this who doesn’t support marriage equality, hear me when I say we are not a threat to you or your families or your loving marriages.

We merely want to have the same right to share what many of you have.

So, yes, let’s think of the children, but maybe not just the ones who were born exclusively to heterosexual parents.

Families come in many different forms: solo mums, solo dads, two mums, two dads or, like us, a Mama, a Mummy and a Daddy. How could two people committing their love to each other in front of their family and friends be a bad thing? I don’t get it and neither do my kids.

Marriage Equality: It’s only fair. Be heard at equalitycampaign.org.au.

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