Following the passage of the Family Law Amendment Bill in the Federal Parliament on Monday, the GLRL sent a collation of Australian Love Letters to all Senators, to provide them with personal stories from our community and others prior to debate of the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – General Law Reform) Bill on 12 November.

Some of the letters are from young lesbian couples, some are from elderly gay couples, and some are from the mothers, brothers, grandparents and children of gay and lesbian people throughout Australia. They all have one thing in common -” a profound sense of incredulity that one group of Australians have lived as first class taxpayers, and second class citizens, for so long now.

While sometimes it feels like we are fighting all by ourselves as a community, the following letters are a sample of those the senators received from our heterosexual friends and family:

As a loving parent of four adult children, I find it very painful for one of my children to be treated as a lesser citizen in our civil society, with inferior rights to her siblings. This is a personal issue for our family. But it is a wider social issue. I can find no rational explanation for discriminating against people on the grounds of sexuality and in my experience, irrational policies and laws have a corrosive effect on all of us. (Lyndsay Connors, NSW)

I am a straight lady, 61-years-old. I believe we all breathe the same air. I have had nothing but the greatest support from the gay friends who help me look after Aussie kids who live with HIV… My friends vote, pay a mortgage, pay taxes etc and colour the world… (Laurell Honey, NSW).

As a raging heterosexual who does not discriminate against people, I support equality for same-sex couples and their children under federal law. Why should my tax dollars be used to fund only heterosexual families? Please ensure that the codified discrimination currently written into Australian federal laws is removed/rewritten to allow gays/lesbians and their families to enjoy the same rights as everyone else. (Sarah McCoy, NSW)

I am an Australian-born heterosexual mother of three mature sons and five grandchildren. My youngest son has been in a committed same-sex relationship with his partner for many years, yet is continually discriminated against under federal law … He and his partner have been long employed … meeting all their taxation obligations, superannuation funds etc and contributing to society daily as most responsible and conscientious Australian citizens. I am immensely proud of these young men and have over the years observed a higher degree of commitment, integrity and support than I see in the majority of heterosexual partnerships … I entreat the federal government to urgently address the 58 areas of discrimination laws and enact equitable change. (Edith, Victoria)

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