Lara Ryan, whose partner died recently has described her agonising ordeal when her relationship wasn’t recognised, despite her insistence she was married.
Lara’s partner Elise lost her life in February in a tragic pedestrian accident outside her eldest daughter’s day care, just weeks after the birth of the couple’s second child.
The awful tragedy has been amplified for Lara as without a marriage licence she has faced hurdles at every step as she tries to secure a future for herself and her children.
In Australia the the government does not recognise same-sex marriages despite numerous attempts by some of its citizens to push for marriage equality nationwide.
Lara and Elsie Ryan, had been together for a decade and considered themselves married, albeit not in the eyes of the law. They celebrated their union with a “wedding” ceremony which was attended by over 100 of their closest friends and family.
In a passionate argument for legal recognition of same sex couples, she reflected upon the many experiences she had in recent weeks.
After her partner’s death, Lara wrote on Facebook: “I had to ask policemen if I was ‘allowed’ to write ‘spouse’ on incident reports.
“I had to cross out boxes for husband on the death certificate and boxes for father on our new baby’s birth certificate (both on the same day).
“I had to yell out in a busy, crazy emergency room, ‘She is my wife, I know it’s not legal but she is my wife!’”
Lara said she and Elise were “never political” but her experience had highlighted why marriage equality was needed.
“We just did our thing, did our life our way and tried to live by example to shift people’s hearts rather than pushing agendas,” she wrote.
“But the amount of freaking paper work I am having to do to secure mine and my children’s future welfare is just ridiculous when all it would take is one marriage certificate.”
But Lara said the main reason marriage equality was so important was simple: “Because I love her, and she has been my every day for 10 years.
“She is the mother of our two girls, she is the future I dreamed of and she is my safe place to land.
“Because love is love and we should celebrate it and encourage it always. The world is harsh enough. #thisiswhy.”