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Same Sex: Submissions

Dear Commissioner,

I am in a same-sex de facto marriage of 30 years' duration.  My husband had three biological children of whom I am regarded as stepfather.  We now have seven grandchildren and they all love me and regard me as their grandfather.

My husband's sister's marriage is coming up to 50 years' duration.  She has four children and six grandchildren.

My husband and I paid more money to insure the health of us and our children than did his sister and her husband.  Our family had to pay one and a half times the family rate for private health insurance premiums whereas his sister's family paid one only family rate.  That's in the past and no longer applies.

We are now getting old.  My husband's sister and her husband are allowed to combine their expenditure in order to reach their PBS and Medicare safety net thresholds.  My husband and I need to pay out twice as much because we have to reach our safety nets individually.  It's not the money that concerns us; it's the principle.  It makes us second-class citizens despite the fact that we are first-class taxpayers.

Two nights ago we were guests at a young friend's wedding.  We have known the bride 28 years.  She felt embarrassed, as did we and all of the other guests, that my husband and I stood out like dogs' balls when the celebrant was required, because of Attorney-General Philip Ruddock's directions, to announce that "according to Australian law marriage is the union of one man and one woman".

This also occurred at my best friend's second wedding in February of this year and my stepson's wedding in January of last year.

This is federal Government discrimination which has the sole purpose of publicly humiliating us and other same-sex couples when we are attending and celebrating important and loving family occasions.  It hurts us alright, but it also hurts our heterosexual friends and family members.

I urge you to find that same-sex couples should receive exactly the same treatment under Australian laws as heterosexual couples.

Yours sincerely,

John Goldbaum