“My Hus­band Died In My Arms”

DNA Magazine - - FROM THE EDITOR -

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

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