On September 12, the Australian public will be asked if they support marriage equality.
Why isn’t same-sex marriage already legal in Australia?
The government has been stalling and the previous prime minister, Tony Abbott, had rejected calls to allow his MPs to vote on same-sex marriage, and instead proposed a plebiscite – a compulsory national vote. Abbott was removed from his party’s leadership when Malcolm Turnbull, a supporter of gay marriage, led an internal coup and replaced him as prime minister.
But when Turnbull became the PM, he decided to stick with the plebiscite. Just last year, Turnbull’s party was reelected, and the plebiscite is finally happening. Once they hear from the Australian people, the government will vote on the issue.
We’re showing our support to all our families in Australia and raising our voices with them! And what better way to show that #LoveIsLove! than through the perspectives and photos of Australian gay families. We caught up with some dads to ask them what legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia would mean to them.
Dale and Paul with Alysia from Brisbane, Queensland, currently living in NYC
“Before our daughter came into our lives, marriage equality meant having the option to celebrate our love without difference and in the same way our friends and family could with their partners. Today we fight for equality so that our daughter’s future can be free from discrimination and unnecessary hurt that comes from this ugly debate. Now and always we will stand by equality in every single way to pave the way to a kinder world for our children. Love is Love!” – Dale and Paul
Cohen and Murray with Charlee from Kiama, New South Wales
“[Marriage equality] would mean the world to us as it gives us legal security for our future as a family.” – Cohen and Murray
Josh with his kids, Gold Coast
“My love is no different to yours. I want my kids to know that they can love whomever they choose no matter race, religion or gender. I will always be ready to support them and walk down the aisle. Vote YES and end this debate. #Loveislove.” – Josh
David and Billy with Christian, South Australia
“The legalizing of same-sex marriage for our family means that our relationship would finally be treated equally in the eyes of the law. We would have the protection, security and certainty that if something were to happen (God forbid) to one of us, the other would be protected financially as well as our sons. This is also really important to pave the way for the future LGBTI generations to ensure they grow up in a country that is full of love and respect.” – David and Billy
Andy and Simon with Adaline, Melbourne, Victoria
“It would mean the world to us. Firstly, for the simply joy of sharing our love and commitment with family and friends; but secondly to be recognised by the law and society in which we live – to have a world in which our family is no more or less than any other.”
“Most of all, marriage equality is not just about us but the culture in which future LGBTI kids grow up. We know, first hand, that being “different” can be difficult and painful. However, kids who feel “different” at school don’t have the same life experience as us to know that they’ll be ok. Having same-sex marriage legalised would be a strong message to these kids that who they are is everything they need to be and that they are as good and as loved as everyone else. Life is for everyone.” – Andy and Simon
Blue and Shaun with their kids, South Australia
“Australia has a duty to legitimize all love and acknowledge all families. Marriage equality will finally do this!” – Blue and Shaun
Holt and Simon with Olivia, Brisbane, Queensland
Legalizing same-sex marriage means we are another step forward in achieving equal rights just like every other Australian citizen. Holt and I may not feel a need to marry just right now, but if we do one day that should be OUR choice without any outdated law or debate or judgment.” – Simon and Holt
Paul and Michael with Levi, Sydney, Australia
“It’s so important for same-sex families like ours. It recognizes the fact that we’ve been married for 5 years (we were officially married in NYC) and that we can legitimately call each other husband without having to explain to our son that our country doesn’t believe in our union. It will limit those who are against same-sex marriage from having a platform to disparage our family.” – Michael and Paul
Mike and Colin with Jack and Maple, Sydney, New South Wales
“Australia is an amazingly beautiful country to live in. Legalizing same-sex marriage would allow the LGBTI community here to have the same basic human rights as everyone else and the option to love who you want to love. One day our family would be recognized as normal without negative bias or labels.” – Colin and Mike
Drew and Joseph with their kids, Sydney, Australia
“Legalizing same-sex marriage would mean the world to us. Our children would love to be a part of our wedding, sharing in the whole experience that brings us closer together as a family. We lived in Canada for a couple of years, where same-sex marriage is a reality, and has been for over a decade. We got to meet a few legally married families who experienced what it’s like to not have to worry about things that other people take for granted.”
“We have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees ensuring that our family is protected in the case of one or either of us becoming incapacitated, giving each of us power of attorney and guardianship over one another. [That is] something we wouldn’t have to consider if we were allowed to marry.”
“For our children, it wouldn’t change anything for them as they still see us as “Daddy” and “Da” and a piece of paper won’t change that. It will however protect us all as a family, and that means the world to us.” – Drew and Joseph
Answers edited for clarity.