Why We're Not Married After All
It was the happiest day of my life. He got down on one knee and proposed to me. I couldn't say yes fast enough.
Well, almost the happiest day of my life. The happiest day might have come when we actually stood before the celebrant, saying our marriage vows. You know, just like everyone else.
I'd heard stories about others who had a different experience. People picketing at their wedding - did anyone picket at your wedding? And people holding their own views about me loving him - not in private, in public. Not whispered, but shouted. Even in a courtroom.
Planning a wedding is an expensive exercise, but we loved doing it. Picking out what to wear, who would photograph it. Where we would get married and how we would honeymoon. It was a stressful period of time - but we loved it anyway.
And on the Happiest Day, he looked into my eyes and said 'I do'.
A week later, we found out we weren't married after all, because the Federal Government intervened. They said we couldn't marry, because it wasn't right.
That story isn't true. The reason it isn't true is because I am a woman and my husband is a man. But for twenty Australian couples, their Happiest Day has been shot down in flames by the Federal Government. The ACT, our nations capital has ruled for marriage equality, and now the High Court has told those twenty couples that they are no longer married.
Peter and I have just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. We have six children together.
We are no greater or less than any other Australian, and it offends me that we should consider people who are LGBTI 'lesser' - we should all be able to have the same rights and freedoms as other Australians.
So this is my commitment for 2014. I will do everything I can to ensure that all Australians are treated fairly. To remind me of my commitment, I will have the Inclusive Scouting Rainbow Reef knot etched somewhere on my body - to remind me what is worth fighting for.
If you agree, what are you going to do?
Write to a politican, once or every day. Get bolshy. Paint the streets rainbow. Tie dye the curtains at Parliament House. Go to Mardi Gras and show your support. Convert your minister. Tell your kids, tell your friends, shout and shout until people know that discriminatory and homophobic attitudes are not okay. But do something - and do it every day in 2014.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke