This week my wonderful wife Lisa and I marked 6 months since the magnificent day when we - surrounded by the people we adore - publicly declared our love, making our wedding vows to each other with all the gravity they deserve. Yet as we sit here, still radiating in the joy of this milestone event, it's impossible for me to ignore the pathetic state-of-affairs deeming it illegal for couples like Lisa and I to be married in the country I am ordinarily so proud to call home. I mean, come on.
Australian couples are being robbed of this fundamental experience and their families robbed of the opportunity to share all the moments that should be etched into their collective memories - laughed and talked about for years and generations to come. Moments like when my newly inherited Nanna (which, having lost both sets of my own grandparents, is extraordinary in itself) marched to the head table and threw her arms around me in the warmest, tightest hug as I cried and cried for the words sent from my parents who - for health reasons - couldn't make the arduous journey from home.
I left Australia with evidently naive confidence in the inevitability of legalised same-sex marriage (the watered-down option of civil unions seemed a given). That was June 2013. Even at the time of my engagement, more than a year later and months after same-sex marriages began taking place in the UK, I was convinced laws would be passed well in advance of our Big Day: 15 August 2015. Still the status quo remains. How is this possible? How can I be laughing and joking, sharing 'hapless wife' stories with work colleagues or giving table-planning advice to my engaged friends here in the UK while couples west of New South Wales can't even become civilly partnered?!
I'd be happy to report to you that Lisa and I were met with enthusiastic Oohh!s, Aahh!s and Good for You!s as we worked to create our special day. But it delights me even more to report that our British countryside wedding was an utter non-event to the outside world - exactly as it should be. No befuddled stammers from registry office staff, no wide eyes or high-pitched screeches of faux support from suppliers - just "congratulations, what date?", "what colour?", "how many?" . A cynic might say this feigned acceptance was motivated by an industry looking to maximise profits made from this loved-up new market (which, in itself, is another reason to shake one's head on Australia's archaic stance, we seem to allow much worse in the name of profit), we dealt with local businesses - local people - who looked on at us with all the sentimentality one has when in the company of two people in love, excited for their future.
So, while I will continue to wake up every morning, grateful for the opportunity to have met and married the great love of my life (well, perhaps not every morning - lesbianism is unfortunately not an antidote to hangry outbursts, absent minded conversation or irrational touchiness), thousands of couples will continue to wait for their right to do (or not do) the very same. It's just unfortunate that as they sit waiting - family members will pass, joys will be deferred and precious time will be lost forever.
A big dollop of love from my finger tips to your screen (I promise that's not as creepy as it sounds). xx