A heartbroken mum has shared a frustrated plea for marriage equality after her partner was tragically killed in a pedestrian accident.
Lara Ryan had been with her partner Elise for ten years, she said they considered themselves married along with their friends and family who attended their ‘wedding’.
Under Australian law their ceremony was not recognised legally, however that didn’t make it any less real for the couple.
The couple’s four-year-old daughter Ivy was also proud to say ‘I’ve got two mums’.
Last month, Lara found herself in an unimaginable situation, struggling to fill out a death certificate for the love of her life.
On February 8 her world came crashing down after Elise was hit by a car while crossing the road, only three weeks after the birth of their second child Skylar.
Elise was at a pedestrian crossing when she was struck by a car and knocked to the ground, not far from the couple’s home.
In a move which she said only intensified her pain, the funeral director had to cross out the box for ‘husband’ on Elise's death certificate.
To Lara, Elise was not her de facto, she was her wife.
It’s a pain Lara said she has experienced multiple times since Elise’s death.
Grief-stricken and heartbroken, she said she has been frustrated with how difficult it has been trying to explain her family to authorities and in forms.
On Monday night, Lara sat down and shared her thoughts on same sex marriage to the world, in an essay titled ‘This Is Why’.
In it she passionately argued for legal recognition of same sex couples, reflecting on the multiple experiences she has endured these past weeks.
“Having lost my partner in a horrible pedestrian accident this month I had to ask policemen if I was 'allowed' to write spouse on incident reports,” she wrote.
“I had to cross out boxes for husband on the death certificate and boxes for father on our new baby's birth certificate (both on the same day).
“I had to yell out in a busy, crazy emergency room "She is my wife, I know it's not legal but she is my wife!"
In the essay Lara explained her and Elise were never political, but they tried to live life by example to shift peoples hearts instead of pushing agendas.
“The amount of freaking paper work I am having to do to secure mine and my children's future welfare is just ridiculous when all it would take is one marriage certificate,” she said.
“And most of all because I love her, and she has been my every day for ten years. She is the mother of our two girls, she is the future I dreamed of and she is my safe place to land.
“Love is love and we should celebrate it and encourage it always. The world is harsh enough.”
Lara told Daily Mail in her eyes, she and Elise were always married, they wore rings and Lara changed her surname.
“This experience has proven to me again about how important it is to have that [formal] recognition, just to have a document that gives me the same rights,” she said.
“If you're ringing someone (and explaining that) "my husband's died" (people understand).
“But if you say partner - most people are understanding, but not everyone.
“You've almost got to give your backstory every time”.
Friends of Lara and her family have rallied together to support them during this incredibly tough time.
They launched a Go Fund Me page urging people to help to ease the financial burden on Lara as she cares for her two young daughters.
In just 17 days the page has raised more than $30,000.