Since the start of this year, we have had three separate inquiries from the community regarding life insurance or total and permanent disability insurance.

It was brought to our attention that the questions asked by insurance companies to gay men and men who have sex with men (MSMs) were different from those asked of heterosexual or non-MSM applicants. These questions pertained to the applicant’s sex life, and were extremely invasive, detailed and potentially very embarrassing, leading to some members of the gay and lesbian community simply abandoning their plans to take out insurance.

By asking far more detailed questions of MSMs, these questions imply that monogamous relationships within the gay community are not comparable to those within the heterosexual community. It not only conveys the message that there is a troubling difference between the behaviour of gay men and heterosexual men, but that our relationships are less stable and less committed.

If you have had an experience like this, we would like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]

If you are looking to take out insurance, we are also happy to hear from you. We have been liaising with an insurance broker who has found a handful of companies that treat their gay and lesbian customers with the same amount of respect as our heterosexual counterparts.

And speaking of people who believe gay and lesbian relationships are less committed, less stable, and generally just less, submissions are currently being accepted in relation to the marriage equality bills currently in Parliament. We encourage every single gay and lesbian person to make a submission, no matter how short, to show your support for marriage equality.

We have moved forward from trailing behind those opposed to marriage equality, and currently the race is neck and neck. You can be sure those opposing marriage equality will redouble their efforts as we do, so it is vital that every member of our community shows support.

Please realise that your contribution will make a difference to the marriage bills. And expect to see the GLRL pushing very hard over the next few weeks to get as much support as possible for these bills.

If you don’t feel comfortable making a submission, please take a minute to take part in the House of Representatives survey on marriage equality.

Links to all these can be found on our website at http://glrl.org.au/index.php/Take-Action/Current-Campaigns/Marriage-Equality-Inquiries

By LAINIE ARNOLD, NSW GLRL

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