An Australian woman has spoken out about about her horrific experiences of discrimination – after she lost her wife in a car crash.
Sydney naturopath Lara Ryan had tied the knot with partner Elise Ryan in a ceremonial ceremony in 2010, as Australia continues to ban same-sex weddings.
The pair had two children together, welcoming their baby daughter Skylar in January. Tragically, Elise died in a car crash less than a month after the birth – and Mrs Ryan found herself both battling government discrimination as well as grieving the love of her life.
In an emotional Facebook post, Mrs Ryan explained the horrific hurdles she had to go through.
She said: “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.
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“I had to cross out boxes for husband on the death certificate and boxes for father on our new baby’s birth certificate (both on the same day).
“I had to yell out in a busy, crazy emergency room ‘She is my wife, I know it’s not legal but she is my wife!'”
She added: “We were never political, we just did our thing, did our life our way and tried to live by example to shift peoples hearts rather than pushing agendas.
“BUT 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.
“And most of all because 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.
“Because love is love and we should celebrate it and encourage it always. The world is harsh enough.”
Mrs Ryan is planning to scatter her wife’s ashes on the beach where they married, at Seal Rocks, New South Wales.
The post has since been shared over 50,000 times, with equality groups calling on the government to stop trying to stall on equal marriage and put it to a vote in Parliament.
However, she might not have been expecting such an outpouring of support.
Lara Ryan added: “Elise would kill me. We don’t do politics. Holy Moly, she is rolling her eyes up there.”
The Australian Coalition Government is facing renewed calls to call of a public vote on equal marriage.
Previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott had insisted that Coalition MPs would not have a free vote on the issue, and that a plebiscite was the only way to settle it.
However when Malcolm Turnbull took over as Prime Minister in November when Abbott was ousted, he maintained that a plebiscite would take place.
The public vote, a plebiscite, will cost Australian taxpayers as much as AUD$160 million, and could set back the first actual same-sex marriages by years.
This is despite a majority of politicians in Australia now saying they would vote in favour of legislation for equal marriage.
Meanwhile, Mr Turnbull, who is a regular attendee of Sydney Mardi Gras, at the weekend became the first sitting PM to attend the festivities.