Sydney woman Lara Ryan’s Facebook post describing her frustration with Australia’s marriage laws after the tragic death of her wife Elise has been shared on the social media site almost 50,000 times.
On February 8, Elise was struck by a car on a pedestrian crossing near their home. She later died in hospital.
In her Facebook post on why Australia needs marriage equality, Lara (pictured, right) wrote: “Because having lost my partner in a horrible pedestrian accident this month I had to ask policemen if I was ‘allowed’ to write Spouse on incident reports.
“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.
“I love her, and she has been my every day for ten years, she is the mother of our two girls, she is the future I dreamed of and she is my safe place to land.”
Lara told Fairfax Media she praised the “amazing” hospital staff and police who let her in to see Elise before she died and let her make decisions on her wife’s behalf.
But with their marriage not legally recognised, Lara said she’s spent the weeks since Elise’s death ringing lawyers, government agencies and their insurance company, explaining their relationship.
“For anyone – whether you’re gay, straight, a son, a daughter, a sister, a partner – it’s a very trying thing to tell the same story over and over again and go through forms and red tape and not fitting into particular boxes,” she said.
“I just remember crying to my mum and saying, ‘If I had a proper marriage certificate, this would not be so hard. It would just be accepted.’
“I don’t see her as my de facto, I don’t see her as a partner. I see her as my wife. We were married in our eyes.”
Read Lara’s full Facebook post below: