Marriage Equality pioneers Luke and Victor celebrated their marriage all over again in their I Do Redo, five years on.
Back in 2013, I married Luke and Victor when the ACT briefly allowed same sex marriage. Although the ACT law (and L&V's marriage) was ruled invalid by the High Court, it was an important step on the road to Marriage Equality.
On the same date, five years on, I married them all over again to finish the job now the federal law has changed. Luke and Victor said to me, "You made our true wedding so memorable we wouldn't dream of doing it again without you!" So there was much to celebrate. Not only Luke and Victor and the long, loving and fulfilling bond that exists between them, but also family, friendships, love and equality.
That path to equality has been quite a journey. Luke and Victor were pioneers of Marriage Equality and we have much to thank them for. They were one of the first couples to legally marry in Australia when the ACT introduced their same sex marriage bill in 2013. A challenge by the government in the High Court meant the bill was struck down five days later. But it's important to be clear - although Luke and Victor's marriage was deemed invalid by the court, that wasn't how Luke, Victor or anyone else viewed it. That day five years ago was very much their wedding day. And while the court ruling was a disappointing setback, it became a key landmark in achieving marriage equality for everyone across Australia. As always, in the end, love prevails.
I remember Luke and Victor's wedding in Canberra very vividly. We were all so excited about the law change and I had butterflies in my stomach as I drove down from Sydney. When the ceremony began and I introduced myself as a "Marriage Equality Celebrant" there was a huge round of spontaneous applause and deafening cheers which took me aback in the most thrilling way. The sense of absolute joy was palpable and it was an early taste of what was to come. All weddings are loving and joyous occasions, but time and time again over the past year, I have found same sex weddings to be even more so. There is an extra edge of something very special that is hard to quantify. Marriage equality has brought acceptance, respect and recognition into the mix. To have experienced that with so many couples, starting with Luke and Victor, has been both heart-warming and humbling.
Watch the Marriage Minute to see how the ceremony unfolded.
Luke and Victor were married at Berth Restaurant, Melbourne Docklands.