WA MLC Stephen Dawson heads to Canberra for same-sex wedding
Out gay member of the WA Legislative Council, Stephen Dawson, told ABC Radio he plans to be amongst the first to wed in the ACT when same-sex marriages become legal this weekend in the territory.
Dawson plans to marry his longtime partner, Dennis Liddelow, in a private ceremony outside Parliament House in the ACT at one minute past midnight.
Dawson told ABC Radio he hoped his marriage would make a statement to members of the community that it’s time for marriage equality.
"A good number of people in the community are supportive of marriage equality and in fact another significant number, it doesn't bother them, so I think there's a clear majority who aren't against it and so we're making a statement that we think Australia is ready for this,” he told the ABC.
"It is a real opportunity for us as a couple to tell the world, to tell Australia that you know, that we love each other and that we believe we should have the same rights in law to get married as straight couples do."
Dawson’s marriage could be short-lived, with the High Court reserving its judgement on the constitutionality of the territory’s Same-Sex Marriage Act until December 12.
While Dawson said he would be disappointed if his marriage is ruled invalid in a few days time, he didn’t believe he should forgo the opportunity.
"We also believe that we are in a privileged position and that we should take the opportunity to shine a light on the issue and to hopefully encourage governments, particularly the federal government, on this issue."