41 Australian couples and ABC TV created history last night filming Australia’s first television same-sex mass wedding.
This Wednesday it will be Australia’s chance to tune in and when it gets broadcast nationwide.
Same Same was invited along to the wedding of the year.
See more of our photos here:
March 26th, 2012
ABC’s Elsternwick studios in Melbourne was the location of the mass TV wedding – and the hens/bucks night the week before – which will feature on primetime talkshow Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight.
“We are in Studio 32 – a lot of history has been made in this studio… it’s a special place,” Gordon St host Adam Hills told the audience before the taping began.
“This is where Countdown was filmed, and this is where Spicks and Specks was filmed… it’s the location of many special and historical moments in Australian television… and this is certainly no excepetion! We are about to host the first ever Same Sex TV wedding! TV Weddings may not be ‘real’ – but it is real for those watching.”
What began as a simple audience poll and moving on air same sex marriage proposal, grew into a spectacular historical moment for Australia, as Gordon St offered to host the first ever mass same-sex TV wedding. Producers told Same Same they were overwhelmed by the response to a call out to same-sex couples to participate in the TV wedding, saying that over 200 couples put their hands up to participate – far more than could fit in the studio.
41 couples including Elyse and Rebecca, the original girls that started it all, were selected to feature in the ceremony, which though not legally binding serves as a symbolic event that shows the real faces and lives of the same sex marriage debate in Australia.
The show started recording featuring the cast of host Adam Hills, out lesbian comedian Hannah Gadsby and Dave O’Neil, in the usual format of special guests that included Hamish Blake (from Hamish and Andy), restaurenteaur / chef Shannon Bennett and Australian TV icon Noni Hazlehurst.
Then, beginning with a red carpet arrival and dressed in their finest, the glamourously dressed couples all shone brightly as they filled Studio 32, which was beautifully decorated in white satin, flowers, flying cherubs and chandeliers. A real sight to behold.
The special guests who featured in interviews earlier on in the show pitched in to play a part in the wedding with Blake giving away the boys and Hazelhurst giving away the girls to huge applause.
A well-dressed audience of approximately 180 people, all with wedding presents, watched on as the couples declared their love and commitment to each other in a ceremony that was light hearted but respectful and deeply moving.
Legendary rocker Adam Ant dressed in Pirate finery was the special guest performer on the show, and played the first wedding dance, his hit Prince Charming, as the couples and guests danced.
“Thank you! Thank you so much for being here and being involved. This all could have just been a silly idea, but you embraced it and got involved and made it the fantastic and beautiful night that it was. Thank you!” an emotional Hills told the crowd of couples and his audience at the end of the taping.
While the couples in turn called out “Thank you Adam! Thank you Hannah! Thank you ABC! For giving us this opportunity to share and show our love… You don’t know how much this means to us,” to a very moved Hills, Gadsby and crew. The audience applauded loudly in support.
Couples speak out
Elyse and Rebecca
Together 7 years
“It was a personal declaration of love – we just wanted to publicly declare our love for each other and celebrate our relationship… we never in a million years would have expected it to become this wonderful event. We couldn’t be happier to think our gesture of love inspired this.”
Pavel and Martin
Together 12 years
“We are both Australian citizens now, and we’ve lived here for 12 years. We are moving back to Europe next month… part of the reason is that we can’t take our relationship to the next step here so we are going somewhere where we can. In two weeks we will be living in a legal Civil Union in Switzerland. We don’t want to wait anymore. But we wanted to do something before we left to help make marriage equality one step closer for our fellow Australians.
“We feel very accepted in Australia in so many areas of our lives, with insurance and work and that kind of thing… So why not just make it official? Why this hesitation from the government? It would make such a great difference to make official what is already something that is a part of society. All we want is to have our partners and relationships officially recognised .”
Kerry and Leanne
Together 27 years
“We are parents, we are grandparents and we’ve been together 27 years. There are couples here today who have been together for 40 years! Young people especially need to know that ‘you can have a future’ and the story that their parents were told about a tragic story for those who are gay is their parents story not theirs. Young people can have a future with the love of your life… you can have and share a life long love.
We’ve participated in Equal Love marches and marriage rights protests at Midsumma… but we think this will be more effective. It’s on national TV on the ABC and our families, our friends, our co-workers, our community. Everyone will see our faces and realise that this is about real people and not just some political point score or gay agenda. Love and equality what this is all about. We want to get it out there, that we are sick of waiting for the same rights as everybody else. We call on the government to please, please… legitimise our relationships!”
Roger and Bill
Together 18 years (Bill said 20!)
“We’ve been together for 18 years and we have many friends who have been together for longer than that. I don’t think people understand that same sex relationships are real, lasting and deeply committed… well there’s nothing to show them that. That’s in part why we are here today.
“We are well and truly a couple. Our relationship is real and binding and deeply committed regardless of what the government of the day thinks. And to be honest, if and when Gay Marriage becomes legal in Australia, we are not quite sure if it is the right option for us personally… We probably would, especially having been through this experience today… but we are here today because we believe in the rights of all Australians to choose to legally and publically declare their love through Marriage, and we wanted to support that choice. We are very proud to be here tonight and to be doing this. And it’s fun!”
Michael and Greg
We are really happy with where we are in our relationship . We don’t actually need to get married. But we do believe that having that ability to choose should be ours. This is us standing up and saying we are willing to be counted. We are happy to do this as a public statement to illustrate to community, family, friends, colleagues… to show the reality of same sex couples coming together in a marriage context. To get everyone seeing it and talking about it. To show them what it could and should look like.
“The truth is that our relationship and our marriage is not going to impact negatively on anyone else’s marriage – quite the opposite, it will making things better for everyone, especially the children and families of same-sex couples. That is the reality.”
Australia’s first ever Mass Same-Sex TV Wedding will feature on Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight this Wednesday 28 March at 8:30pm on ABC1.
Visit the show’s website here after the show to sign the online guestbook and send messages of congratulations to the couples.