go to content

Same-Sex Couples Are Inviting Tony Abbott To Their Weddings

"Dear Tony, save the date."

Posted on

Same-sex couples around Australia are inviting Tony Abbott to their upcoming weddings in a campaign to push the prime minister to grant his MPs a conscience vote on marriage equality.

The site is an initiative of left wing law firm Maurice Blackburn and is designed to heap pressure on the PM before a cross-party marriage equality bill is introduced when parliament returns next week.

As it stands, Coalition MPs must vote along party lines on any marriage equality bill, meaning the reform is doomed to fail.

"We hope Mr Abbott will RSVP to these wedding invitations by committing to a free vote on same-sex marriage, which could pave the way for achieving marriage equality in Australia," said Liberty Sanger, a principal at Maurice Blackburn.

Once a couple registers on the site, a "Save The Date" card will be sent directly to the prime minister and another will be posted on the couple's Facebook pages.

And it's not just for couples planning to get married - anyone who wants to register their support for marriage equality can sign up to be on the "guest list."

Two people sending a message to the PM are new mums Justine Moss and Romy Calati, who held a commitment ceremony two years ago but are planning to get legally hitched as soon as they're able to in Australia.

The two have been together for eight years and Justine says their ceremony two years ago brought their family together and helped some relatives who were uneasy with same-sex relationships to gain more understanding.

"Some family members who were not so comfortable walked away with very, very different opinions around gay people and gay marriage," Justine tells BuzzFeed News. "Now we're starting to see some of those aunts and uncles who were a bit iffy about it posting things on Facebook and liking things around gay marriage. So it was an evening that changed a lot of perspectives."

"Romy's mum, who was initially not as accepting eight years ago, is now our biggest advocate. She spoke about how we've changed her perspective on life and how she's a better person for having two daughters who are gay."

"I'm not too concerned if he [Abbott] doesn't believe in same-sex marriage, but he should be allowing his party to have a conscience vote," she says.

Justine gave birth to the couple's first son, Edmund, seven months ago. Justine says the campaign for marriage equality is even more important to her now that she's a mother.

"I want to see change for Edmund. So he sees that our family is no different to any other family. He is just as important with two mums as he would be with a mother and a father. It's mainly for him that I want to see same-sex marriage legalised. So he sees that our family is legitimate."

A cross party bill on marriage equality is expected to be introduced to the Australian parliament next week.

Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Rob Stott at rob.stott@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.