Six months ago something incredible changed in my life. Something I didn’t think would impact me as much as it has. Yet, there’s still a part of me that feels unfulfilled.
It’s been six, yes six, months since marriage equality became a reality for all LGBTQ+ Australians. Junkee recently reported that more than 2,500 same-sex marriages had been recorded since 9 December, 2017 - the day the Australian Parliment (finally) voted yes to equal marriage rights for all couples.
But, has anything really changed?
Back in December I blogged on HuffPost UK and mentioned that the changes in law were a catalyst for social change. I mentioned that marriage equality laws were the beginning of the end of social, cultural and legal stigmatisation of sexuality, gender and body diverse people within the Australian community. I also acknowledged that while the law might change overnight, social attitudes won’t.
And that is kind of how it’s all panned out so far.
I work within the wedding industry, curating an online blog and print publication dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ women in love. And, while we have seen a small increase in the number of submissions we’ve received, particularly from newly engaged couples, and a few extra submissions from couples who went back to do it all over again, not a lot else has changed.
While the changes in the legal status of marriage for LGBTQ+ couples has been incredible, discrimination is still occuring.
This week we heard the news that the Supreme Court in Colorado sided with the baker who refused service to a couple based on their sexuality, and his religious beliefs. While Australia might be a largely non-religious population, we consistently hear from LGBTQ+ couples planning their wedding that discrimination is still ripe. Just yesterday we were given feedback that a venue was unable to align with our publication because they worked on a team that wasn’t supportive of marriage equality. We hear of couples who are planning a wedding only to hear crickets when they bring up that their groom-to-be is actually a bride-to-be and there is still a whole lot of education that needs to exist, particularly around the gender and body diverse community.
But, it’s also not all bad news. The industry is changing, slowly. We’re starting to see more diverse couples within wedding media, language be more reflective of diverse relationships and the icing on the cake is that weddings between two individual of any diversity can now marry, legally.
And that’s an extraordinary change. Something that has truly changed the lives of so many people.