Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

Christopher Totten Presgrave Place, Melbourne VIC 3000

Submission to the inquiry on the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 Date of Submission: 27 March 2012 Attention: Ms Julie Dennett. Committee Secretary Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Australia Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

Dear Committee Secretary, Please find attached my submission to the inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010.

Yours truly, Christopher

Christopher Totten

page 1 of 6

Submission to the inquiry on the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

A horse whisperer from Narrandera and a theatre director-designer from Kalamazoo (USA) met in Australia and fell in love.

+
Here in our home country, Australia, Patrick is only considered my partner - but because Im dual Australian-American citizen he is also my fianc and soon he will be my husband. Well not in Australia.

Last June New York passed marriage equality on a Friday and two days later at the base of Uluru I asked Patrick to marry me.

Christopher Totten

page 2 of 6

Submission to the inquiry on the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

We're headed to New York City in July so we can hold a wedding ceremony with our family and friends to declare our love and commitment to each other.

I have lived in Australia since January 2000 and been an Australian citizen since 2006. Our life is predominantly based in Australia. As we are denied the basic human right of marriage here in Australia - and have to travel to the United States to wed - many of our Australian family and friends will not be able to participate in our wedding. This is very sad for them and us. Our goddaughters heterosexual parents didnt have to go overseas to marry. They were afforded the basic civil right of marriage that we are not. Our goddaughters do not understand why their parents could marry in Australia but their godfathers cannot.

Is the relationship that Patrick and I share less deserving of the recognition of marriage then those of our heterosexual friends?
Christopher Totten page 3 of 6

Submission to the inquiry on the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

Our son Harry, who was present when I got down on one knee and proposed to Patrick at Uluru, is also confused.

We've tried to explain to Harry why we cant get married in the country we call home. It's difficult for him to understand. Life to an eight year old is quite simple. Why cant his two dads can't get married like the mums and dads of his classmates? Is their relationship not good enough?

Patrick knew from a young age that he was attracted to other boys and not to girls. He told me that when he was a little boy, a neighbour was caught in a gay relationship. His mother said to him, You would never do anything like that! In fear, Patrick replied Of course not.

Christopher Totten

page 4 of 6

Submission to the inquiry on the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

Patrick recalls the pain his mothers words caused him: Because of who I loved, I was clearly a freak. Why was my love less valuable, seen as something bad? My first crush was on a boy; all my crushes were on boys. Im pure gay.

My mother and her church taught me from an early age that I was an abomination worthy of stoning and that I would burn in hell because of who I loved. This was very damaging to me and I spent my teenage years desperately trying to be someone I was not; dating girls and living a lie. I feel like I was robbed the pure joy of truly experiencing the innocent crushes of childhood because I was told my love was an abomination. Through prohibiting marriage for couples of the same gender, Australia continues to send this damaging message that the relationship Patrick and I share is inferior to those relationships of all other heterosexual couples in Australia. Domestic partnerships and civil unions are not marriage are not equal and send the message that our love and our relationship is not equal. This hurts Patrick and I, our son Harry, our goddaughters, our Australian family and friends who will be unable to participate in our wedding in New York City and many, many others.

Christopher Totten

page 5 of 6

Submission to the inquiry on the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

Patrick and I have worked hard to build a solid relationship and good life together: We annually serve our Australian family an traditional Thanksgiving feast To keep fit, we regularly blade around Melbournes capital city trail I take my horse-whisperer to the hospital when he falls down while blading and breaks his arm Blending our creative talent, we share the joy of designing our engagement rings together with a talented Melbourne jeweller When I experience unusual heart rhythms, Patrick is in the hospital for 24+ hours looking after me while trying his hardest not to look concerned Celebrating new years eve, we share a fantastic time with our close friend, the celebrity Australian comedian Pam Ann who will stand up for us in our New York City wedding.

My fianc and I are good, solid members of our community and offer a great deal to make life a better place for those around us. We live an honest life and have great integrity. All I want is our home country to recognise our marriage and allow our son to see his two dads as equal members of society. Please stop the cycle of damaging traditional messages and actions that communicate gay relationships are inferior; please support marriage equality.

Christopher Totten

page 6 of 6