It’s infuriating how long it’s taking for Australia to pull up it’s rainbow socks and get on board something that seems so inevitable for the nation. And that inevitability (hey, we’re a rational, civilised, fair, advanced nation are we not? *nervously grits teeth*) makes the waiting game even more frustrating. Like, just make it legal you nitwits and spare us all the drama of an exorbitantly over-priced envelope in the mail (if you’re not Australian and reading this, we’re conducting a postal vote over same-sex marriage. Yes. In 2017).
In the meantime though, the conversation around marriage equality needs to continue, and regularly. Today we’re sharing this a great article from WedShed celebrant Victoria Eustace of All We Need is Love on how you can participate in the fight for marriage equality – and do it at your own wedding.
Ways you can contribute to the fight for marriage equality – even at your own wedding
Despite the overwhelming public support for marriage equality, nothing has changed. It’s frustrating – devastating for some – and as a person/couple in a heterosexual relationship, you want to do more than just let your community know that you support its LGBTQI members. They are your friends, your family. So how do we become catalysts for change, rather than just very passionate and vocal supporters of marriage equality?
Currently the most effective thing we can do is to bombard our government with messages of support for marriage equality. But what does this have to do with your wedding? Simple.
Your wedding is going to be made up of the people who love you most in the world, so to that end they are most likely the people who will be willing to get behind any schemes you might have to change the world for the better.
They are excited to be at your big day, excited that you are getting married and generally just excited – harness that positive energy! Think about one of the following:
Write a letter (and get your guests to easily ‘write’ one too)
Ask each of your guests to write to your local federal member saying they support marriage equality – but wait! Make it easy for them, no one wants to sit down and write a letter to their MP while at a party. Have letters prepared so your guests just have to add their address and signature, pop it in your prepared envelopes and then you can send them off en masse. You can find easy to download address labels for all of them here.
Similar to above, but something you would encourage your guests to do in good faith rather than facilitating the act for them. With so many people using wedding websites or e-invites these days, you could pop the link to the Parliament of Australia website along with a few words your guests could use so that they were able to contact Senators and Members at their convenience. You can access email addresses (if they have them) here.
Have your guests donate the money they would be using to buy your gift to a chosen charity (this relates to all issues close to your heart too. A donation to the Cancer Council, your local animal shelter – the options are endless).
You can have this as part of your invite in lieu of your registry details, or if you don’t feel comfortable asking everyone to donate, you can set aside part of your wedding budget to donate on your guests behalf. In lieu of a bonbonniere you can give your loved ones a small card with the contact info of the charity on it (and a big THANK YOU for your loved ones presence, not presents *baddum tss*), or announce it during the speeches, or have a sign posted somewhere that lets everyone know where your hard earned money went!
Even forgoing that sequinned tablecloth you’ve been eyeing up can free up a few hundred dollars that you can then put towards a worthy cause. I had a look and found some places to start for you:
Twenty 10 is a Sydney-based service working across NSW, providing a broad range of specialised services for young people 12-25, including housing, mental health, counselling and social support. For adults they provide social support and for people of all ages they offer telephone support and webchat as the NSW provider for the national QLife project. They also offer inclusivity training and consulting for organisations and service providers across most sectors.
ACON is a NSW-based health promotion organization for HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health.
Australian Marriage Equality (AME) is a national, membership-based organisation working for equal marriage rights for all Australians regardless of their gender or sexuality. AME believes that a person’s gender or sexuality should not affect their legal rights and responsibilities under Australian marriage law. As a membership-based organisation, AME relies entirely on the generosity of its members and other supporters in the community.
The Pinnacle Foundation is a community-funded and registered charity that provides scholarships and mentoring to disadvantaged or marginalised LGBTIQ youth who need help in achieving their educational or vocational aspirations. Pinnacle transforms young lives and creates community leaders of the future. In the last four years, 45 scholarship grants have been made around Australia, totalling nearly $200,000. They “light the spark within”.
It goes without saying that the ideas shared here are by no means limited to only your wedding. In fact, if you want to take one or more of them on board but feel it more appropriate to do so independent of your wedding day, you should definitely do that!
It’s important to note that all the ideas I’ve shared have come from my greater community of super awesome celebrants – so I am by no means the only one out there that supports equality or is thinking outside the box when it comes to action. Think big, live your truth, have faith in the power of positive action! I am behind you 100%.