U.S. Ambassador to Australia John Berry married his partner of 17 years, Curtis Yee, this past Saturday in Washington, D.C. The service was held at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church and was attended by family and close friends of the couple, including the Secretary Of the Department of the Interior, who joined the couple for a reception at their home following the ceremony. Berry was recently appointed to his new post by President Obama, making him the first out gay ambassador to a G-20 nation.
Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Rodney Croome, congratulated the couple and used the occasion to speak out about marriage equality in his own country:
"It's a happy time when any couple marries and I congratulate John Berry and Curtis Lee on their special day and wish them well for their married life together. Sadly, they join hundreds of other same-sex couples whose overseas same-sex marriages aren't recognised under Australian law. It will be a source of deep embarrassment for many Australians that our law fails to respect the marriage of the chief representative of our closest friend and ally, the United States."
Though same-sex marriage is not legal in Australia, for the first time in a while, there is hope that may change. Australia's new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has recently shown his support for legalizing same-sex marriage in the land of Oz. However, with a September 7 election looming it is uncertain whether Rudd will trounce his conservative opponent, Tony Abbott. Should Rudd win he has pledged to make marriage equality a reality within 100 days.
Commenting on the upcoming election, Croome added:
"Kevin Rudd's commitment is a reminder not just that marriage equality is important, but that it is urgent. This increases pressure on Tony Abbott to commit to a conscience vote so marriage equality can finally be passed…This election provides voters with the opportunity to vote for love, by electing candidates who support marriage equality."
You'll recall back in June Australia's previous Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who opposed marriage equality, was ousted in favor of pro-equality minister Rudd.
Congratulations to the happy couple!