Tonight Jason and I will have a quiet dinner to celebrate the 11th anniversary of our so-called “illegal gay wedding”.
It’s amazing how quickly the 11 years has passed since we very publicly tied the knot. We chose to make it public to raise awareness of the fact that we couldn’t legally marry, but in spite of that the ceremony was as real and important to us as any of our ‘straight’ friend’s weddings.
So you might be surprised that we are not throwing a big party to celebrate the anniversary? Well, we don’t feel we can do that until the federal government legislates in favour of same-sex marriage. Yes, we’re still waiting!
My good friend and the member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, says in many ways our wedding was the catalyst for the marriage equality campaign which today is still running across the country.
Despite the fact that no government has had the guts to change the law, a lot has changed in more than a decade. Now almost 80% of the public support our right to marry. Slowly but surely we are making progress.
When we tied the knot we were overwhelmed by support. The ceremony was broadcast on 2Day FM’s Kyle & Jackie O Show (when I was their out and proud newsreader) and replayed across the Austereo network. It was broadcast live on Seven’s Sunrise, covered in New Idea and the Sunday papers, and made the nightly TV news. We received over 20,000 emails of support!
I can still remember the big day clearly. In the ‘congregation’ were family, friends, supporters and many celebrities including the Australian Idol hosts, Daryl Somers, Carlotta, Kate Fischer, Chris Bath and Sonia Kruger.
They were all gathered under a marquee at Circular Quay with rain tumbling down outside. Someone reminded me rain on your wedding day was good luck!
I arrived with my mum who walked me down the isle. This was real.
In spite of the cameras and the microphones there was a genuine dignity in the occasion. Our vows didn’t change just because hundreds of thousands were listening and watching.
Amazingly, our wedding singers that day including Human Nature, Ricki-Lee and 70′s superstar Leo Sayer! Kyle behaved himself and gave us a hug, and the radio station pulled ads from its schedule as a mark of respect.
Jackie O serenaded us in a ‘gorgeous’ peach dress. She tells me the wedding ceremony was one of her favourite moments on air.
It amazes me that the wedding had such an effect. People still stopping me in the street 11 years later saying they remember the broadcast. Some say they even pulled their car over to the side of the road so they could listen and ended up being late for work!
Despite all the publicity and the positive response we are still not seen as a married couple in the eyes of the law. It’s ridiculous really, when you consider Jason and I have been together for 23 years.