My husband Gregory and I went to Canberra for the wedding of our friends Melanie and Ari on December 7 2014. That day was also the first anniversary of same-sex marriages being temporarily legalised in the Australian Capital Territory.
Ari invited me to deliver a message of Marriage Equality at the wedding, as a friend of his who is an activist for marriage equality and as a man who was recently married to a man in New Zealand. I was honoured to have been asked and without hesitation I accepted.
Ari and Mel object to the Federal government’s refusal to legislate in favour of Marriage Equality in Australia and they, along with an increasing number of opposite-sex couples, are incorporating statements of protest in their wedding ceremonies.
I read the following statement:
Speech for Mel & Ari’s wedding – December 7 2014
Today… the celebrant will declare as a requirement that marriage is the coming together of a woman and a man. Just remember that as these mandatory words are said today my husband Gregory and I stand in defiance of them.
I know Mel and Ari would rather this formality was not part of the proceedings. So rather than let it diminish the occasion, I’m going to treat the clause as a gift from the government, to mark a point in time where we all aspired for greater freedom, equality, dignity and humanity. When the discrimination in the law is erased and marriage is available to all, this will be a memento of the sweet success of that win.
I’m grateful for the friendship Gregory and I have with these two fine people, about to be married here today. We value the respect they have for our relationship and without hesitation we deeply respect theirs. As different as we may be individually, we share a love for our respective partners and in that, our relationships are truly equal.
If you’re attending a wedding between a woman and a man in Australia, ask the bride or groom if they’ve planned a Marriage Equality statement for their ceremony. If they haven’t, send them this article and suggest they do it, in the name of equality. It’s important, and it’s too easy.