Gay Comedians Get Married

  

Gay Comedians Get Married

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Australia since 9 December 2017 but this article looks back when it was not possible.

Since they could not marry their actual loves, comedians Zoe Coombs Marr and Rhys Nicholson, who are both gay, got hitched in a Melbourne ceremony as a protest against Australia's prohibition on same-sex marriage.
The wedding took place as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, where Coombs Marr took out the prestigious Barry Award for best show.
The protest was in fact a colourful party with music, dances, mock protesters and an impressive cast of Australian comedians.
But not everything was a party. There were some serious moments as well. For instance, comedian Hannah Gadsby gave a powerful speech, saying the “think of the children” argument commonly used against same-sex marriage is actually one in favour of gay marriage.
“When you say to a person, ‘No. You cannot join in. You do not belong in this community', the end of that sentence is not the end of the story. The ramifications are traumatic to the individual,” she said.
“Rhys and Zoe are doing this for all of the children. Because at the moment, what we are doing in this country is saying to all of the children that it is OK to exclude a minority. It is OK to be a bully,” Gadsby continued.
“Through their union, filled with love and disrespect, from both within and without, what Rhys and Zoe would like to say to all children is that being inclusive is just as important as being included.”
The ceremony's grand finale features the bride and the groom declining to kiss each other and opting instead for giving a passionate kiss to their same-sex partners.
“The idea came to me in a dressing room,” she said. “I was in drag, dressed as a man, and Rhys was in semi-drag as an androgynous dandy. Rhys said, ‘We look like a really fucked up wedding couple'.”
“We thought it was pretty funny, and the idea stuck in my head. I thought it was something we could do to assert ourselves in a way that was fun but also quite provocative.”
According to Coombs Marr, the event was a “massive farce”.
“It is a farce that we can't get married, that we're still talking about this in 2016,” she said. “We want to say, come on guys, this is really silly. We can't marry our partners but we can marry each other.”
Apart from its goal to protest and to entertain, the ceremony also served as a fundraiser for LGBTI youth charity Minus18. The Melbourne-based group run events - including same-sex and gender diverse formals - and provide resources and support to LGBTI youth.
“It's really important that young people are getting the message that their relationships are their own and as valid as anybody else's,” said Coombs Marr.

 

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