I’ve been a long-time advocator of same-sex marriage. For anyone who believes that love is one of those universal truths that carries itself across race, across language, across gender, same-sex marriage is one of those stigmas that has plagued society. Unfortunately, those in charge of the law (old white men) haven’t been able to share the same progressive values that our generation has grown into. Australians felt this first-hand when the High Court overruled the ACT’s same-sex marriage laws. All the judges felt uncomfortable with ACT’s laws being inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act and only a week after all these beautiful same-sex marriages, which my friend Frank Farrugia had the pleasure of capturing (www.frankfarrugia.com), they were separated again by law. I only can imagine how frustrated all the couples who got married in that week would’ve felt, but if there is one thing that remains true it is their love. Why does the law have to be so retrospective when our society is clearly changing?
So when the USA Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was a right under the Constitution on a 5-4 vote, I was overwhelmed with emotion. “No longer may this liberty be denied,” wrote Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.” I wish I was there to see all the celebrations in the USA after the decision, but from all the pictures I’ve never seen such a widespread revelry hit a nation so quickly. People everywhere are celebrating. Even in Texas.
But in Australia we are yet to catch up. I am reminded of being on the parade floor for Mardi Gras. All the people celebrating their pride, supporters, advocators, gay, lesbian, transsexual, bisexual, intersex all united in one triumphant march. I can see their joy at USA’s decision, their disappointment at Australia’s retrospective values. But it’s a strong community, and their voices are now stronger than ever with the push of USA’s historical decision. All the reasoning you have put up against same-sex marriage are drenched in old Catholic values, I do not believe all the “scientific” evidence stating that a child raised by a same-sex couple will experience a lower standard of living. I would tell anyone who believes in this notion to watch Maya Newell’s (MY INSPIRATION WHO I FINALLY GOT TO MEET) documentary, Gayby Baby. Australia, your excuses are weak and it’s time.
Below are images that I captured during Mardi Gras 2015. I was on the parade floor and got such vivid images that only someone in the parade could capture – I am so thankful to UTS Vertigo for the opportunity and to all the people on the floor who made me feel the love.