Gay Marriage | Television | Weddings

Adam Hills's Mass Gay Wedding: VIDEO


This week, star Australian comic Adam Hills hosted a big, beautiful gay wedding on his talk show, Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight. It wasn't a legal wedding (this is Australia) and it wasn't entirely straight-faced (so to speak), but what it lacked in legality and reverence it almost made up for in charm and sweetness. It was a mass wedding of 41 same-sex couples, and according to The Sydney Morning Herald its genesis was something like this:

Prospective audience members are asked to complete a questionnaire, and when they started pouring in for the first show a pattern began to emerge. Asked "what would you change if you were Prime Minister for a day?" an overwhelming majority answered they'd legalise same-sex marriage.

"And when I read one saying, 'I'd change the same sex laws so I could marry my girlfriend', I thought, 'I think I know what I have to do now'," Hills said ...

The show's producers contacted Rebecca Edwards to ask how she would feel about being "married" - albeit without any legal status - on TV. She said was up for it.

... the day after her proposal went to air 200 other couples contacted the ABC to say they wanted to be involved. In the end, logistics limited the wedding party to 41 couples.

The couples were gay, the officiator was famous, and the wedding singer was Adam Ant. Watch the mass nuptials AFTER THE JUMP ...


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  1. Didn't the Moonies do mass weddings years ago? No, not being negative.. Congrats to the happy couples!

    Posted by: mary | Mar 31, 2012 1:07:27 PM

  2. Silly, funny, and also very touching. He struck a nice balance between humor without mockery and respect for the couples.

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 31, 2012 1:52:49 PM

  3. I wanted to see the touching parts and really take them in... I am a gay man who would love to be married to the man of my dreams and all of the couples were beautiful in this... you could see the love in their eyes for each other... I am being paranoid, probably, but the organist was "off" for me in the beginning and the end when the couples pledged their love... I did not like the way these couples were portrayed like they had some sort of disability, like they should be pitied and even though it's not "legal" in Australia, meaning their love is invalid, we'll throw them a TV wedding that the general population is ensured is not real and meaningful. I did not like that message. Uncomfortable rather than a beautiful display of love and commitment... If I got it wrong, please´╗┐ enlighten me.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Mar 31, 2012 3:00:56 PM

  4. WAYNEMPLS, I do think you got it wrong but there isn't just one way to view things and maybe your take is as valid as mine.

    But here's the way I saw it. I'm not familiar with Adam Hills or his show but I gather he's a comedian so it wasn't going to be purely serious. There was going to be some joking around but I felt he kept that to the wedding conventions themselves ("The Wedding March") and treated the couples and their relationships respectfully. Other than a few "laugh lines" thrown in, which were about the show or the network, the "vows" he had them say acknowledged that these were real people and these words meant something to them.

    He did mention the fact that these were not legal unions several times, which is a statement of fact. The way I took that was that he wasn't reminding the couples of that fact, of which they are well aware, but reminding the viewing audience of that with the unspoken message that it is unfair that these people can't get married legally. He was calling them "TV weddings" not to denigrate the couples but to point out the truth and the unfairness of it.

    At least that's how I saw it. To me the part that was touching was, despite the fact this wasn't a "real" wedding service, the obvious love and affection the couples felt for each other, their playfulness with each other, and their willingness to participate in a "fake" wedding to draw attention to how badly they'd like to do it for real. Implicitly the whole event was asking "What's the big deal? Why can't these people get married?"

    Your mileage may vary, but that's how I saw it.

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 31, 2012 4:27:10 PM

  5. Thanks, Caliban.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Mar 31, 2012 5:35:06 PM

  6. It says that same-sex weddings are a parody of "real" weddings. Weird to think that this is a good idea.

    Posted by: Jay | Mar 31, 2012 6:22:43 PM

  7. Jay, I never felt those people or their desire to be married were being parodied. In fact I got the sense the couples involved wouldn't have participated if they felt they were being mocked.

    And what about the woman in her 80s who sent the silver coin she wore in her shoe at her own wedding? I have no reason to doubt the letter or the coin were real. Do you? Do you really think she sent that to be part of some grand joke at the expense of the "queers"? I don't. And it's a powerful symbol.

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 31, 2012 7:32:42 PM

  8. While I know this program was to promote Same Sex marriage in Australia and good for that. It does seem somewhat overly humourous to be taken too seriously.

    I'm lucky that here in Canada it's has been a normal fact of everyday life here for almost a decade and I truly hope that your governments(Australia and the US) moves ahead to join the countries that have accepted this as just a another piece in diverse and welcoming lives.

    Posted by: Darrell | Apr 1, 2012 2:29:56 AM

  9. "And finally we stand before the world and say our love is precious, pure, true, and worthy of recognition."

    What better words were there to say?

    And don't laugh, because all joking aside, Australia will probably have marriage equality before the US does. In the US we have to respect (or at least acknowledge) that a sizable percentage of the American electorate thinks the world was created a few thousand years ago and "Adam and Eve" are not only real but they rode dinosaurs.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 1, 2012 8:11:53 AM

  10. While I would have preferred less mockery I pretty much agree with Caliban on this.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Apr 1, 2012 4:42:47 PM

  11. As participants in this wedding, we can tell you it felt real. We did not feel demeaned or ridiculed. It was and has been a fabulous celebration of our love for each other. All of the couples present felt this. In Australia there is currently a Senate enquiry into changing the marriage laws here and Adam Hills and the team at Gordon St provided a terrific opportunity for us to publicly declare our love and to protest the current inequality and injustice that we feel (and most Australians according to the polls) under current legislation which gives us no choice. Australia has previously been seen globally as a forerunner on social justice issues. If equality cannot be achieved in this country now, then it can no longer claim leadership on these matters.

    Bill and Roger (Mr & Mr)

    Posted by: Bill Nicholson | Apr 1, 2012 10:24:12 PM

  12. I'm not sure what the author meant when pointing out it wasn't a legal wedding because "this is Australia".

    Let me remind you:

    1. Australia's federal government has added marriage equality to their platform (the US hasn't)

    2. A whopping 70% of Australians support marriage equality - the US roughly 50%.

    3. When Australia achieves marriage equality (by 2014 at the latest as most legal scholars agree)... the entire country will get it, and with popular support from the public. Unlike America, where you fighting a difficult battle state by state, losing some, and gaining others.

    4. Australia is also far more liberal and religion has way less control on people - we are supremely more secular than the US.

    5. Australia allows gay adoption, and we also had civil partnership registries way before the US.

    6. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is the largest pride festival in the world.

    And so on....

    So if you were under the impression that Australia is not very supportive of gay rights, on the contrary - Australia is far more supportive of gay rights than the US. We will have federal marriage equality many years before you do, as one issue.

    Thanks for reading.

    Posted by: Ben | Apr 2, 2012 12:20:42 AM

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