AROUND this time of the month a year ago, same-sex marriages were legal for the first time on Australian soil in the ACT — albeit only for five days.
To commemorate the significance of the event, US-based LGBT rights group GLAAD have launched a worldwide campaign to celebrate the 31 same-sex marriages that became invalid once the High Court overturned the ACT’s gay marriage laws on December 12.
The campaign video (scroll down below to watch) invites people to send anniversary messages to the couples on social media platforms using the #5daysofequality hashtag.
The messages will then be delivered to a meeting place in Canberra where the 31 couples are invited to read them.
“Equality starts with personal stories. For the 31 couples in Australia whose marriages were robbed from them, we want them to know that there are many people across the globe who recognise and celebrate their love and commitment,” GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis told Mashable.
“By sharing their stories, we can show people around the world the importance of marriage protections for all loving couples.”
December 7, 2013 marked the day the ACT became the first Australian jurisdiction to allow same-sex marriages be carried out and recognised under law.
The Federal Government challenged the ACT laws, citing inconsistency with the federal Marriage Act, and it was eventually struck down by the High Court on December 12.
However, in its ruling, the High Court stated that the Federal Government had constitutional power to enact marriage equality via an amendment of the Marriage Act.
Last month, NSW Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm introduced his Freedom to Marry bill in Federal Parliament, in the hopes to prompt the Coalition Party to decide in favour of a conscience vote.