This month is all about celebrating weddings, so I thought I would talk about same sex weddings! Since the YES vote and weddings starting on the 9th January 2018, there have been over 5,500 same sex weddings Australia wide.
I can account for a few of them here on the Coffs Coast as a Marriage Celebrant, and my first one was in March 2018. I had the honour of marrying Jackie and Joanne from Quirindi near Tamworth at Sawtell Beach.
Surrounded by lots of friends and family who travelled from everywhere, even overseas, plus all the onlookers, they said a very teary, “I do” after being together for many years! I know I cried too, as did all the guests, because it was palpable how amazing this wedding was – it was a public acknowledgement of their already truly committed relationship – but it was more than that! It symbolised that we are all equal and that we are all able to enjoy the same freedoms.
Then, their close friend, who is a tenor, belted out the most beautiful spine chilling song, that made us all even more emotional!
Rainbow colours proudly blew in the wind, and they celebrated their reception at Sawtell RSL in the functions area, which they loved.
I was so happy to be a part of their day, and we have all become really good friends since! I got to experience though, the struggle that is real and true for many couples as their rights have been ignored – a basic right to marry the person they love. We all know how brutal the whole debate became, and that can take its toll on people’s wellbeing. This is why a group like PFLAG is here-to support families and be amongst like-minded, loving people.
Gay persons in many communities are affected by discrimination in their pursuit of happiness and in striving to live their lives with openness and dignity.
The LGBTIQ Community are not the only ones touched by this discrimination. It also touches their friends and families.
We, as parents, families and friends join together to appeal to the public conscience. We want to achieve the same rights and opportunities for our children that are enjoyed by other Australians.
Coffs Coast PFLAG is here to give help, support and information to families and friends of the LGBTIQ community right here on the Coffs Coast.
We meet monthly at coffee meetings so far, share ideas and enjoy being together in a supportive way.
Don’t be shy – check out our FB page and feel free to email ideas too. Watch this space for some great ideas and functions for 2019!
P. 0417 861 045