Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I want to get married in NYC

Ok so during this week I discovered that I can not get married in NYC. This particularly offends me for a number of reasons. I know I'm not a US Citizen, or even a US resident (that's a different issue and fight all together and I'm hoping that DOMA does get repealed so that I can live in the US with my family).

Now Australian same-sex couples have de-facto rights. So Larry and I have the same rights as a heterosexual couple that's aren't married but living together (property, inheritance etc). Now this is where it gets funky. If I was to apply for a marriage licence in the state of New York - I can't get married - the Australian Government would deny me a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage. Because the Australian Government views marriage as being between a man and a woman. Now the problem here becomes, if we were to move to NY and we were denied the ability to get married - I'd not be able to access the state rights that NY has extended to same-sex couples. It's a mess.

So rather than do nothing as I would normally do. I've emailed my Federal Member in the House of Representatives. I expect nothing to come of this (apart from a polite form letter which will say nothing) - but for once in my life I feel like I have to do something...

My email:
Dear Mr Danby,

I reside in South Melbourne with my partner Larry and our twin daughters Olivia & Louise. Larry and the girls are both dual American-Australian citizens and we as a family are looking at relocating to the United States in the near future.

Now as you may know the State of New York has allowed same sex couples to marry. We were looking at getting married and residing in New York, mostly as we would be granted state benefits by the State of New York and it would be easier for Larry and myself to locate work in New York City.

I have since found out that we can not in fact get married in the State of New York as the Australian Federal Government will not grant us a Certificate of No Impediment to Marry. Now the Prime Minister has come out saying that she's proud of her government's track record on same-sex rights but the real problem as I see it for any Australian citizen who wishes to marry in New York - we are then denied the state rights that New York has for same-sex couples. So effectively we'd be back to square one in terms of our rights, as I would not have any rights in New York as I would not be officially recognised as Larry's partner or the girls' parent.

I'm requesting your help on my own behalf to have this matter investigated and if possible to have a Certificate of No Impediment to Marry issued.

Thank you for your time - I honestly appreciate it.

Michael Verhoef