Marriage Equality… sigh…
It truly is something which I’m very passionate about and it beggars belief to me as to why we don’t have it. Please read my post on my thoughts about Marriage Equality, which can be found here.
As you may be aware, by law, all celebrants must include some monitum wording which includes:
‘I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.’
I really don’t like saying the bit in bold. I truly don’t. And often couples I work with don’t like me saying it either, and they ask if I can exclude it. Unfortunately I can’t, but what I can do is include a precursor sentence before the monitum wording paragraph which explains that this is not the views of all of us, and we hope one day to have marriage equality.
I recently conducted a wedding where when I said this, everyone cheered. It gave me goose bumps; I was so proud that so many like-minded people are out there. After the ceremony a guest came up to me and shook my hand. He was in his late 50s and told me that in all his life, he’d never been to a wedding where he and his (male) partner actually felt included.
This in itself is one of many reasons why I will keep supporting change for the introduction of marriage equality.
Marriage Equality. It’s only fair.
Today I wrote to my MP, Wayne Swan, to ask him to help in the campaign for Marriage Equality in Australia. If you believe that consenting adults have the right to marry, then please check out the Equality Campaign website http://www.equalitycampaign.org.au/ and consider writing to your MP.
Dear Mr Swan MP,
As a local resident within your electorate, I wish to show my support for marriage equality in Australia.
I have many reasons why I believe in marriage equality
- It’s simply unfair not to be able to offer marriage as an option to consenting adults, including the benefits both legally and personally that come from being married
- I have many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends and acquaintances who feel discriminated in our society enough without omitting their access to a basic human right
- Finally (and this is the most important reason) I am a human being who believes that discrimination based on sexuality and/or gender identification is wrong in a civilized society.
It is time for change. The Marriage Act stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman; this is outdated. We have numerous examples around the world where marriage equality has been introduced and, to my knowledge, not one single person has been struck by lightening as a result. In fact, I can’t even think of a good reason why anyone would be against it – I mean, surely this is just plain, simple, basic common sense?
I, as one voter, have little influence on the Government. But you, as a man of political connections, have the potential to help stop what is fundamentally discrimination. Please use this influence wisely.
Many of you told me how much you enjoyed reading part one of my most surprising wedding moment, so here is part two.
In London I was working with these two fantastic guys whom I met at the Gay Wedding Show where I had exhibited to promote my celebrant services. They were having their wedding at the gorgeous Mayfair Hotel. The ceremony was taking place in the private theater within the hotel and they were keen to make the most of grand space.
We worked together to develop some surprise moments which started with the ceremony showing a film of them both, miming to Perfect Day by Lou Reed. The film had them in the shower, within a field of flowers, driving along a country road, sitting on their sofa… basically hamming it up like proper stars.
They then walked down the aisle to their 150 friends to much applause and the ceremony continued with a real mix of tenderness, genuine laughter, and tears of emotion. And, as I announced them husbands, there was further applause and then… one of the ‘guests’ stood up and started singing…
‘I’m comin’ up so you better get this party started…’
The ‘guest’ was actually a professional singer, chosen by the guys for her powerful voice which surprised every guest in the room. And just when it couldn’t get any more surprising, the doors swung open and in walked a bunch of drag queens and dancing girls, filling the theater with sequins, feathers and much entertainment.
It was a great ceremony – very theatrical and fitting for the space they had married in, and suited their personalities to a T. I was thrilled to be a part of it.