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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in AUSTRALIA...
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We'd like to share a variety of experinces articulated in Digital Stories on the www.rainbowfamilytree.com project! Let us know what you think about sharing everyday stories for social change ; )
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posted for readers on 02/06/2011 tagged with lgbt families
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It is not currently legal for same sex partners to marry in Australia. One of the main differences between heterosexual marriage laws and domestic partnerships in Australia is that heterosexual marriage makes it much easier for a foreign partner to immigrate to the country, whereas a same sex partner can't marry and then immigrate. Instead, same sex partners must find other ways and usually are unable to work in the country for a full 3 years after moving there. The first year is required before an unmarried partner can even apply for a visa that would recognize what they call a "de facto" relationship, i.e., serious/long term/marriage equivalent. On the other hand, heterosexual couples can marry in an entirely different country and still move immediately to Australia so long as one of them is a citizen.
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I am a homosexual male, living in Australia. I have been fortunate to live in a country where I can be as open about my sexuality as I like. Reconcilling this with my faith, however, has not been easy. Not only do I consider myself gay, but also deeply religious. My Christian faith has been my strength in times of despair and worry, and I cannot imagine ever not believing. What breaks my heart is that less and less people are practicing their faith these days, or even HAVE faith. Is it really becoming that foreign or strange, or even corny, to believe in God and sing His praises in church every Sunday? Of course, practicing one's faith isn't just a once-a-week thing, it's an all-the-time thing. Making such a huge commitment is a scary thing, but I think it's one we all need to make. There are so many gay christians out there who are comfortable about practicing their faith. So go on... take that leap of faith today!
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