I say to the Minister and, if he is listening, to the Minister for Health that this is an urgent matter and we would like an imminent announcement on it. It is having an impact on people's lives now. Couples are getting pregnant without realising that this is going to be a problem. It is something they realise only during the course of their pregnancies or, in the case of some people to whom I have spoken, only when they have turned up to register the birth of a child. All of sudden, they realise that the form has a space for "mother" and a space for "father" and that one cannot simply cross out "father" and have two mothers. I was contacted by Leanne when she and her partner, Nile, to whom she is married, needed to get a passport for their baby. Eventually, they had no choice but to put just one of the parents' names on the birth certificate. They were not able to register both as parents. That has an ongoing impact and as time goes on, it will present real difficulties. Leanne sent me the following:
Nile and I created our baby together. We went through the process that every couple do with the intent of creating a human. I willingly signed up to love and care for someone for the rest of my life. Is this not what makes a family?
This month we celebrate gay pride. The theme is "We Are Family". How much of a slap in the face is this to all same sex parents out there? Instead of celebrating our first pride as a family, we'll be marching and protesting for our rights. Again.
I hope all my friends and family will join us. I know you all voted for equality 3 years ago and I'm sorry to have to ask you to fight with us once again.