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Caroline added a political avour to the night.
"In our eyes and in those who mean most to us we
are now married," she said.
"I just feel that if all the anti-gay governments and
groups were here today to witness the love and feel the
emotions that we have experienced, they would real-
ise that the love between two women or two men is
as strong as any heterosexual couple. My wish for the
future is that they will see the injustice in making it
impossible for same-sex couples to legally marry."
Vicki says she always refers to their ceremony as a
wedding , and Caroline as her wife.
"Our biggest issue if Australia doesn't wake up to
the ever-changing world will be the legal implications
and recognition when we come to have children," she
Equal rights for queer couples have slowly ad-
vanced over the past 20 years. In 2008 the Rudd gov-
ernment made sweeping changes to more than 100
federal laws, giving same-sex couples the same rights
as straight couples regarding Medicare and superan-
nuation. Civil unions are now legal in the ACT and
registry systems are in place in Victoria and Tasmania.
But since the Howard government changed the Mar-
riage Act in 2004 to be exclusively between a man
and a woman, the gay marriage movement has hit a
wall. e 2009 Senate Inquiry into gay marriage rec-
ommended against it. Gay parents have been granted
greater legal rights, particularly in Victoria, but only
in WA can they adopt a child.
Despite the legal barriers, the message from both
girls to any other lesbians considering a fully edged
wedding is simple: just do it.
"Legal or not, you will still feel married, it's hard to
explain but it takes your relationship to a whole new
level," says Caroline.
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