Making news and creating history, since same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia December 2017, celebrity couples have been creating headlines. In reality and on the small screen, gay and lesbian weddings have been in the spotlight as couples celebrate their love and commitment.
Six months after the legalisation of same-sex marriage, pop culture media Junkee found that 2,490 same-sex weddings took place in Australia by June 2018 and around 10% of same-sex couples who live together are now married, including those who had married overseas.
Records of Births, Deaths and Marriages (as at June 2018) show that most marriages were in New South Wales (853), followed by Victoria (674), Queensland (374), Western Australia (292), South Australia (162), Tasmania (66), the Australian Capital Territory (48) and the Northern Territory (21).
The United Kingdom legalised same-sex marriage in 2014 and from June 2014 to October 2017, there were 445 same-sex couples with dual British-Australian citizenship who married in British diplomatic offices in Australia.
- Christine Forster and Virginia Edwards married in February 2018, sharing their ceremony on the ABC’s Australian Story. Christine is a City of Sydney councillor and campaigned for the Yes side in last year’s postal survey. Her brother, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, was one of the strongest No supporters.
- Tim Wilson and Ryan Bolger married in March 2018. A marriage equality advocate, Tim is the Federal Member of Parliament for Goldstein, Victoria and Chair of the Standing Committee on Economics. A former Australian human rights commissioner, he made history when he proposed to school teacher Ryan from the floor of the House of Representatives while giving a speech on same-sex marriage in December.
- Dr Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker-Phelps celebrated the first Jewish same-sex marriage in Sydney in January 2018, renewing their vows under a chuppah at the Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney. First married 20 years ago at a Jewish weddings in New York, Professor Phelps is a politician and environmental activist. She was the first woman and first LGBT person to be elected president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
- Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres married at their Beverly Hills home in August 2008. Australia’s most famous lesbian, actress Portia de Rossi starred in the television series Ally McBeal. Her wife is American comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Both are advocates of same-sex marriage.
- Alan Joyce and Shane Lloyd have been in a relationship since 1999. Qantas CEO since 2008, Alan Joyce personally donated $1 million to the Yes campaign. In the 2017 Queen’s birthday honours he was awarded Companion of the Order of Australia for ‘eminent service to aviation, tourism, gender equity, inclusion and diversity, and Indigenous education’. A patron of LGBTI charity The Pinnacle Foundation, his partner New Zealander Shane Lloyd is Chair of the charity’s NSW Regional Committee.
- Bob Brown and Paul Thomas have been in a relationship for 22 years and had a commitment ceremony at their farm in Tasmania in 2008. Former medical doctor and environmentalist, Bob Brown is a former Leader of the Australian Greens and as a Senator was the first openly gay member of the Parliament of Australia. A life-long activist and supporter of gay rights.
- Penny Wong and Sophie Allouache have been in a relationship since 2005 and have two children. Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Labor politician Penny Wong is the first female openly LGBTI Australian federal parliamentarian and federal government cabinet minister. A strong supporter of the Yes vote, she was selected by readers of Samesame website as one of the 25 most influential lesbian Australians.
- Tim Campbell and Anthony Callea married in New Zealand in 2014. Television and stage actor and singer, Tim Campbell is best known for his role in the television drama Home and Away. Anthony Callea is a singer-songwriter and stage actor who was runner-up in the 2004 season of Australian Idol. His hit debut single ‘The Prayer’ was the second-highest selling Australian single of the last decade.
- Julie McCrossin and Melissa Gibson married in Manhattan in 2014 after 20 years together. Julie is a broadcaster and journalist who advocated for marriage equality and has been active in Gay Liberation since 1974, co-hosting several TV broadcasts for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
- Aaron Brennan and David Tanaka were pronounced ‘husband and husband’ on screen in the long-running local television drama Neighbours in September 2018. They made television history as the first on-screen actors in a same-sex wedding in a television drama since Australia achieved marriage equality in December 2017. Actors Matt Wilson as Aaron Brennan and Takaya Honda as David Tanaka were wed in an intimate ceremony officiated by marriage celebrant Jemima Davies-Smythe played by actor and marriage equality advocate Magda Szubanski.
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