With the tick of a tiny box, Australia has finally said yes to love. That noise? Champagne corks popping across the country as we take the first step towards joining the 760 million people currently living in countries where same-sex marriage is legal.
Of course, it could be easy to focus on the negatives: why a divisive plebiscite at all (and an expensive, archaic postal one at that), and why did Australia take so damn long to make this happen? Yes, we’re embarrassingly late to the party, but we can put that aside because now, it’s time to celebrate.
It’s been a long, fierce fight and we should all acknowledge and thank those who’ve dedicated much of their lives to see this through. Groups like Australian Marriage Equality, for example, have been campaigning for 13 years with the help of community organisations, businesses and tens of thousands of volunteers. Their tireless work – and the commitment of so many others – has been invaluable beyond words.
Over the years, marie claire has also passionately pushed for change, starting with our far-reaching “I Do” campaign in 2012 where 170,000 readers signed our petition and thousands more marched in our two rallies.
More recently, as part of our partnership with Airbnb’s “Until We All Belong” initiative, over 150,000 of you ordered Marc Newson-designed “acceptance rings” to show your support for marriage equality. For both campaigns, we enlisted the help of 40 prominent Australians to champion for change, and I’d like to thank them all for their time, support and passion for the cause.
And now, armed with the official backing of most Australians, our parliamentarians need to do what we elected them to do – and get this done. As a friend of mine, PR guru Adam Worling, said last week in perfect summary: “Do I want to marry my partner? Maybe. Do I want the choice? Hell yeah!”
I’ll drink to that.
The December issue with the limited-edition cover will be on sale tomorrow from select metropolitan newsagencies.