Last night Jason and I had a quiet dinner to celebrate on the eve of the 13th anniversary of our so-called “illegal gay wedding”.
It’s amazing how quickly the 13 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 now the federal government has legislated to to make marriage equality legal, and we do plan on having a low key ceremony soon in front of our mum and loved ones.
My good friend and the member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, says in many ways our wedding was the catalyst for the later stages of the marriage equality campaign which he writes about in his book Yes Yes Yes.
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 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!