Nov 30, 2011

Andrew Barr: I can’t marry the person I love — that needs to change

Andrew Barr is the Deputy Chief Minister of the ACT and a life-long Labor Party member. He's also gay and in a long-term committed relationship. And he'd like to get married.

My name is Andrew Barr.

I joined the Australian Labor Party as an 18-year-old, the best part of two decades ago. I am Deputy Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, a member of the National Right caucus and a delegate to the forthcoming ALP National Conference.

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16 thoughts on “Andrew Barr: I can’t marry the person I love — that needs to change

  1. sparky

    When Labor voted with the last government on the changes to the Marriage Act it was apparently to avoid a wedge issue, we’ll see if that is true or not. I hope the delegates on the weekend reflect on just how many people know a gay folk, love them, and have them as members of their families.

  2. McCorkell Graham

    Thankyou Andrew Barr for getting your story out there.

    A nationally consistent framework should represent majority Australian opinion. Marriage equality supports impressionable young people who may be struggling with their sexuality. Discrimination in marriage sends out the message that these young people are less valuable to society and they hope, in vain, to fall in love and have a happy family life. A disturbing number of suicides are attributed to these youngsters. I would like to declare my love and commitment for my partner of thirteen years in the same social forum that other Australians enjoy – in the company of valued friends and family. Since both my parents are deceased, they have been denied the joy of witnessing me marry my partner; my hope is for family and friends who are still living.

  3. Mack the Knife

    Isn’t the figure one in ten ratio of gays to heteros?

    That’s an awful large number of people to be denied the same dignity as the rest of us.

    Good luck Andrew and praise for speaking up mate.

  4. Jean

    Dear Andrew.

    Sorry about your pain, but as you are a politician, not too sorry 🙂

    Want my support?

    1 Fix the economy, then

    2 Propose genuinely inclusive changes to the marriage act that will not privilege monogamy- there are lots of Mormons, Moslems and alternative lifestylers currently discriminated against in exactly the same way as monogamous gays and lesbians are.

  5. CML

    Good on you, Andrew! I do hope you prevail this weekend. Please know that you have a lot of “straight” people like me out here who will be cheering for your victory. Sparky said it all in the last sentence of his post.

  6. B.Tolputt

    The economy is never going to be perfect for everyone. Trying to delay doing the right thing until an unrelated issue is resolved to your liking (especially one as unachievable as fixing the economy, given we’re one of the best in the world right now!) doesn’t even reach the bar of “semi-reasonable excuse”.

    In regards to polygamy, that has a wide variety of issues unrelated to paired relationships. Just to name one of many is the Power of Attorney issue – which of the polygamous partners gets it in the case of needing a medical decision and/or dealing with a deceased estate, especially if they disagree? That’s without going into issues such as whose death finishes the marriage, can one partner marry someone who other partners do not consent to joining the legal relationship, and so on.

    Same-sex marriage has no need to solve those issues, as they are already resolved in regards to heterosexual marriage. No rule change is needed to have it work aside from allowing couples of the same gender to marry. That is the sole change required as even the concept of a religious representative not needing to solemnise the marriage already exists (e.g. a Catholic priest can already refuse to marry people professing disbelief in the Catholic religion).

  7. GocomSys

    This is about ‘equality’, nothing more nothing less.
    The time has come to finally overcome ‘them’ and ‘us’ attitudes and it is absolutely none of my business what anyone’s sexual preferences are.

  8. SBH

    My only question Andrew is why do you remain a member of a faction that denies such a fundamental aspect of your humanity?

  9. shepherdmarilyn

    Yes, and Ian Hunter, a friend of mine for 25 years, has been with Leith for most of those years but cannot marry.

    Penny and Sophie are about to be parents and cannot marry.

    What a pissant country we really are run by racists and bigots.

    Good luck Andrew.

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