Marriage Equality - an open letter to our MPs

You may have noticed that the landing page of my website makes my stance on equal marriage rights pretty clear. I recently moved and enrolled into a new electorate..and discovered that my Federal MP does not support marriage equality. Here is my letter to him asking for a free vote for the Coalition, and for him to support the marriage equality bill recently put forward.


I urge you to support a free vote on marriage equality, and to vote in favour.

I write to you today as one of your constituents. I was born and grew up in Melbourne and have lived my whole life in a wonderfully open and forward thinking community. I am currently in a same sex relationship and have never been on the receiving end of any discrimination, homophobia, or negative comments from anyone in regards to my sexuality. In fact, really the only form of discrimination I have faced to date, is from my own government.

I am turning 30 this year, and have attended and been involved in a number of weddings of close friends in the last few years. I became qualified as a celebrant in 2013, and have performed civil marriage ceremonies for lots of couples; though I am yet to perform a same sex commitment ceremony.  Although I have now performed a number of ceremonies, and now know it off by heart, I still feel a little bit sick in my stomach every time I have to recite the monitum which includes the words ‘between a man and a woman’. The number of people I have had conversations with at weddings who are horrified or embarrassed and squirm in their seats when these words are spoken is astounding. All of the couples I have performed weddings for have wished to add some kind of personal statement into their ceremony stating they do not personally believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

My partner is Irish and we have discussed the fact that we will not get married or have a commitment ceremony until marriage equality is legal in both our countries.  Never did I imagine that stereotypically conservative Ireland with such a catholic history would get there before us. Well done Ireland.

Research suggests that more than 70% of Australians support equal marriage rights. This percentage of our population are not asking for LGBTIQ people to receive any special treatment or consideration. They are only supporting what is right, and asking that discriminatory wording be removed from our legislation. It is in fact illegal in Australia to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and yet that is exactly what our own government is doing.

A free vote will allow all federal representatives to represent their electorates rather than be bound by party policy. This is in line with the Coalition principle of individual freedom. It is also consistent with Coalition policy of allowing a free vote on issues related to marriage and sexuality.

Marriage is a celebration that joins people together and denying same-sex couples this opportunity limits us as a society. Equal Marriage is the only truly fair way.  It will create a climate where the bonds of love and commitment are recognised equally and celebrated widely.

The ability to make equal commitments is fair and just. Discrimination is not.

I urge you to do what is right, and what the Australian people want, by supporting a free vote on marriage equality, and voting for marriage equality.


A Wise Choice - Chloe & Cale - 30th May 2015

It felt like the day had been coming forever. Six and a half years together...a journey full of love and laughter, ups and downs, houses, travel, friends, family...all leading to this day.  As I said during the ceremony, I think everyone around Chloe and Cale had been waiting for this wonderful day maybe even longer than they had.

Chloe - with her keen eye for design and all the pretty things - had planned and designed the gorgeous winter wedding from start to finish.  There were fur shawls for the girls, hand sewn mittens for the guests, a wet weather plan of 'if it rains..we'll get wet', and warming wine for all. The guests enjoyed the open air courtyard as the sun started to set, and were surprised with some twirling under the stars as the bride and groom entered for their first dance, followed by Chloe's amazing Nonna joining in for a boogie.

 

The night continued with so much laughter, and the happy tears flowed as the  crowds were delighted with emotional speeches, more surprise dancing, homemade limoncello, and a gelati man..in case you hadn't had enough to eat and drink!

Chloe and Caleb embody everything that marriage means to me. They are completely devoted and committed to eachother, and to building a life together. They look at each other and their eyes light up. They are so different, and yet are like 2 puzzle pieces that only fit with each other.  A wedding is often a true reflection of the couple getting married, and this wedding reflected so much love, and a couple who gives so much to everyone around them.

My dear friends. It was a true privilege to be included in your perfect day. Wishing you all the love and happiness in the world. xxx

Photos by John Warren

#jilliegilliegethitched - 11/04/2015

'Two peas in a pod..meant to be...a dream come true...a perfect pair..' ...all phrases that have been used to describe Elise and Stewart by various friends and family. They met in 2013 and it was clearly love at first sight. Within 7 months they were engaged, and within 16 months married.

The wedding took place at Elise's parents gorgeous property in Echuca, and boy did Echuca turn  it on for the occasion! Clear blue skies, sunshine, crisp clean air..there were no complaints. The theme of the wedding was multicoloured. The bridesmaids wore bright floral dresses, and everything was decorated with all the colours of the rainbow. Brightly coloured lanterns, flowers, vintage mismatched plates on the table and vases for centrepieces. A stunning rainbow cake with hand crocheted multicoloured flowers made by the bride's endlessly talented Mum, and masses of handmade bunting..sewn by both the bride and the groom-to-be! 

The setting was no doubt absolutely stunning, but it wasn't just that that made the day perfect. Elise and Stewart exude happiness, enthusiasm and positivity. They bring a smile to everything they do and everyone who crosses their path. The vibe at their wedding was no different. Visitors came from far and wide to celebrate with them and there wasn't a single person who wasn't smiling. The ceremony was fun and filled with laughter and happy tears.

In case you didn't love them enough already..Elise and Stewart made a donation to Australian Marriage Equality in lieu of bonbonniere, as an acknowledgement of all the couples who do not yet have the right to marry in Australia.

 

Elise and Stewart it was such an honour to be a part of your big day. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together.

 

Photo credit goes to the fabulous Tori & Sal.