“My Husband Died In My Arms”
I’d like to make a comment regarding same-sex marriage. I’m a gay man and was in a longterm relationship for 35 years until last year. I lost my husband after we had a car accident five years ago that left him quadriplegic. I nursed him at home until he died in my arms. He’s now out of pain. It is too late now for us, but as a matter of love and respect for him, I have changed my surname to our combined surnames.
As a de facto couple, we were required to be registered as such with the government and as a result of this we were put on the couples pension and taken off the single pensions [which reduced their pension]. Does this not mean we are already recognised as married in the eyes of the government? Or am I just stupid? No one seems to have brought this up. Is it too big a minefield? The government can’t have things both ways. We are either recognised as married or not. As far as I am concerned we were married, and we have been recognised as such by Legacy [organisation caring for the families of returned service personnel] as my husband was a returned man who fought for our country. – Phil Sellars-Hargraves, NSW