Hayes and Richard Cullen took part in their third marriage in California as an act of solidarity with those who are fighting for equal marriage rights around the world, taking advantage of changes which give their marriage equal weight under the law.
Taken from Darrens Faceoook page
I married my best friend (again) in California today
I'm so happy to be able to say I just married my best friend - again. Only this time perhaps in
the most equal sense under the law.
We applied for and were granted a California marriage license and today on Monday July
15 2013 Richard and I were married (again). It's the third time we've married each other but the first time we've been equal under the law in all ways including by name to all other marriages. And we're so
The most powerful image I can paint for you is this one. When we turned up to the courthouse to get our marriage license, there was just one line for couples applying for a marriage license. Not a separate one for gay people, or a sub line for a 'partnership registration' or any of the permeations that same sex
relationships have been referred to in the past. It was just one line where we stood with gay and straight couples all equal under the law.
This was incredibly emotional for me: I could not help but remark this was the first time in my life I truly felt I was standing in the same line as everyone else. And that was such a powerful feeling.
Truthfully we consider we've been married since 2005 when we had our private wedding ceremony and reception with all our friends and family in London and then more formally on June 19th 2006 when Richard and I entered into our Civil Partnership. This Civil Partnership recognized our
relationship in the UK and afforded us most of the legal protections heterosexual married couples receive under UK law including my right to become a permanent resident and obtain a British Passport. But it
stopped short of being called a marriage. Today, rather serendipitously the House of Lords in the UK approved same sex marriages in England and Wales, which will give the full social and legal protection of marriage to relationshiops such as Richard's and mine. I believe the first weddings might take place in 2014 and if our new Californian marriage isn't recognized there you can be sure Richard and I will be getting married to each other a fourth time in London at some point!
But right now we're in the United States and thanks to the tireless efforts of those who have fought for our civil rights - the defeat of DOMA has meant same sex couples in California and select other states in the US who wish to get married, may do so and have their marriage recognized federally.
We got married in California, not to renew our vows or because we felt this made our marriage any more emotionally valid. We're hopelessly in love and want to grow old together. We didn't need another piece of paper to confirm that. No, we got married today to support and express gratitude to the brave people around the world who have stood up for people like us. The ability to marry in the United States is a tremendous civil right and one we believe everyone in the world should have access to. We were married today to say thanks for the tireless work activists and human rights campaigners globally have given to equal rights. We got married to be an example for all those who are in equally committed relationships yet can't yet enjoy this basic protection under the law.
We did so in solidarity because the journey is far from over.
I can't wait for the day when I can have this marriage recognized in my home country of Australia and my adopted home of the United Kingdom. I can't wait for the day when young gay teenagers don't have to fear for their lives because they attended a rally for their rights. When couples from two different countires don't have to live in fear of deportation and where families can no longer be torn apart. I can't
wait for the day when we look back on this time in history and shake our heads in disbelief that we could ever have denied another humanbeing the same rights as the next person.
Until that day, I say thank you for what we have so far and we keep pushing with pride and dignity for equality. Many thanks to the hundreds of organizations arond the world including but obviously not limited to hrc.org glad.org stonewall.org.ukitgetsbetter.org milkfoundation.org and the countless individuals everywhere who have fought for this privilege to stand in the same line as everyone else.
Love and so much gratitude