One year ago today, Australia overwhelmingly said yes to marriage equality. Despite the controversy surrounding the postal survey and the political and media circus that ensued, 61.6 per cent of Australians said that they wanted the government to change the laws to allow same-sex couples to marry. On the one year anniversary of marriage equality in Australia, we take you back to the moment when the results were announced. Here’s what three great Australian women said at the time.
Senator Penny Wong
“Equality never comes easy. It must be fought for, and it must be won. It was true of women fighting for suffrage; it was true of workers fighting for decent wages; it was and remains true of women fighting for wage equality, as it was for married women fighting for the right to remain in paid employment; it is true of Australia’s first peoples, who have fought to be truly recognised as citizens of our nation; and it has been true for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians fighting for equality before the law. I take this moment to acknowledge all the brave champions who have gone before, some who are with us and some no longer. We thank you for your courage and for your persistence.”
Sally Rugg, marriage equality campaigner
“Australia has achieved marriage equality, and we will remember this forever. The moment that a campaign powered by ordinary people, built by their personal stories made history. In years to come, the memory of our petitions will fade. We won’t be able to recall how many rallies we went to, how many times we emailed our MP, the punchlines of the ads we’d put on the television, but the change we’ve made from the work we’ve done will be remembered forever. It will be there in a father’s tears of pride as he walks his daughter down the aisle. In the trembling hand of a young man about to get down on one knee. In the moment a teenager realises she’s gay, and knows she doesn’t need to feel afraid. It’s there on Christmas mornings, at the gates of school pick-ups, and on the documents that preserve traces of our lives for generations to come.”
Magda Szubanski, actor and all around Aussie legend
“When the announcement finally came through, it was the most incredible relief and joy and feeling of love and just sadness that we have been through this. It was kind of one of those epic moments when you are having every single feeling all at once. But also enormous pride in this country.”