Sydney radio station 2DayFM has sparked controversy amongst listeners after organising a gay wedding for its breakfast show newsreader last week.
Geoff Field, newsreader on the popular Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O show, received a marriage proposal on-air by his partner of 13 years, Jason Kerr.
The program has since promoted the upcoming nuptials as Sydney’s First Illegal Gay Wedding. The event will take place on Friday 25 November with a Metropolitan Community Church minister presiding over the ceremony at Circular Quay.
When several listeners rang the program to complain the union was morally wrong, Sandilands and Jackie O sprang to the couple’s defence.
Speaking to Sydney Star Observer, Sandilands described the angry callers as rednecks.
I see it the same as people who say you shouldn’t let white and black people get married, he said.
I don’t see why people have difficulties grasping the fact there’s same-sex relationships going on. They’re exactly the same to me. I don’t see the difference at all.
Sandilands, who is also a judge on Australian Idol, hoped the promotion of the wedding on one of the biggest radio stations in the city would help spread acceptance of same-sex couples.
I hope it will do something. Even if it flags parent-child discussion, he said.
Field, 44, who met Kerr, 32, in 1992 when they both worked at 2GB, said the overall response to their impending wedding had been amazing. Field told the Star listeners had rung in and sent cards and letters with supportive messages, and he had been stopped in the street by well-wishers.
Both his and Kerr’s family are 100 percent behind the union as well.
We’ve been so overwhelmed and happy with the response. We’re just so looking forward to it, he said.
The thing that made my day was when we were doing a live broadcast in Blacktown, and a mum came up with her three kids and they gave me this beautiful card with a little painting the daughter had done of me and Jason holding hands. It said, -˜Geoff and Jason together forever.’
After that a 22-year-old guy came up to me and said he was gay and in a relationship, and that what I’m doing might make life easier for them. So that made it worthwhile.
Field hoped the ceremony would show people gay couples are just like everyone else.
We don’t want special treatment, we just want equality, he said.