FAMILY ALL ABOUT CARING, SHARING
EARLIER this month, my husband of 14 years and I attended a party celebrating my nephew’s first birthday.
We drove there, picking up my husband’s parents – my mother-in-law and father-in-law – along the way. Two of my sisters-in-law and brothers-inlaw were there, plus my nephew’s other grandmother, his stepgrandfather, three of his aunties and one uncle from his mum’s side of the family, and more than a dozen of his cousins.
We all enjoyed sharing food, telling stories and playing with the children, taking turns to hold the birthday boy.
I carefully pushed my nephew around on a tricycle, much to his delight, and waited at the bottom of the slide to catch him and my 10-year-old niece, who nursed him on her lap as she came down the slide.
I’ve never seen my nephew smile so much.
The bonds that exist between me and my husband’s family have been built up over time and through the experiences, common to most families, that I have shared with his family and that they have shared with me.
Together we have mourned the deaths of elderly grandparents and celebrated the births of nieces and nephews.
We’ve cared for family members during times of illness, and helped each other pack up businesses and move house.
We’ve shared meals and helped out with babysitting and child-minding.
We’ve celebrated housewarmings, weddings, birthdays and Christmases together. Family is very important to us. In reality I’m not married, and none of these relationships are official because I’m not allowed to marry my same-sex partner.
Marriage equality will further strengthen my family, despite the lie peddled by some opponents that it is a threat to the family.
I would like to be able to invite my family, these people I love and who love me, to my wedding but, for no good reason that I can think of, I need to ask for your permission to marry my partner first.
Do I have your permission? Yes or no?
Richard Hale South Hobart