Couple speak out for equal marriage rights

SAME RIGHTS: Bundaberg couple Naomi and Jasmine Latcham were married in Las Vagas and say it's time for Australia to follow suite and legalise gay marriage here. Photo Contributed
SAME RIGHTS: Bundaberg couple Naomi and Jasmine Latcham were married in Las Vagas and say it's time for Australia to follow suite and legalise gay marriage here. Photo Contributed Contributed

"WE JUST want what everyone else has. We don't want a party, we want our voices heard and it's better when it's multiplied by many."

With these words a Bundaberg couple have made an emotional plea for same-sex marriage to be legalised in Australia.

Jasmine and Naomi Latcham travelled to Las Vegas to get legally married in October last year but here, in their home country, that piece of paper means nothing.

Naomi said enough was enough and was compelled to make her voice heard after reading the devastating story of Sydney couple Lara and Elise Ryan.

Last month Elise died after she was hit by a car crossing the road. While the couple had been together 10 years and had two children together - one born just weeks before Elise's death - Lara is now fighting to secure her own and her children's future welfare, because their relationship was not legally recognised.

"I read a post about the couple that had a baby and the wife had passed away due to an accident," Naomi said.

"Jaz and I we're looking to expand our family.

"When I read that it really hit home to me to think if we were in the same situation we would be left financially disadvantaged by not having our marriage recognised ... it is something that needs to change."

Naomi said she and Jasmine go about their lives as though they are married, they have a seven-year-old daughter.

"For both of us we're both Australian born and bred and for us to have to travel to another country to get married legally and then not have it recognised when we come home is disheartening," she said.

"If Jaz was to pass away I have no legal rights over her daughter.

"We're living in a country that I think is quite a forward moving country and then you've got things like this and you have to wonder why it's not already the law."

In a post on her own Facebook page Naomi wrote "I pay taxes as a first class citizen, I get acknowledged through Centrelink as a couple, I vote the same as everyone else, I love just as deeply and emotionally as everyone else.

"But my marriage rights aren't like everyone else's."

Jasmine also believes one of biggest arguments in favour of legalising gay marriage is that the government already recognises their relationship for tax purposes and childcare, yet they don't get the same rights as straight couples.

"It's frustrating. I have a daughter from a previous relationship and Naomi can't adopt her," she said.

"If we have a family together and if I pass away and my daughter is still underage, what happens to her? She doesn't get to stay with her mummy and she doesn't get to stay with her brothers or sisters. It's scary. There's no security."

Jasmine said at the end of the day she just wants the same security for her family as other families.

"We just want what everyone else has."

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