Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has hosted a dinner for
three gay couples who advocate same-sex marriage.
It comes after lobby group GetUp paid $31,000 for the privilege at
a charity auction for the Canberra Press Gallery, last year.
The meeting was a shrewd attempt to convince the political leader
that marriage equality is viable and should be considered a civil
The trio included Sandy Miller and her fiancee Louise Bucke, who
have been waiting for over two years to get married in their
The 12-year-old son of one of the women, Matthew Miller, presented
Gillard with flowers and a letter explaining why he would like the
two women to marry.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Miller said: "Our
youngest often asks us, `Mummies, are you going to be engaged
forever? Why don't you get married?'.
"It has been hard trying to explain that our government won't
let us get married, and he doesn't understand why everyone else can
get married and become a family legally and we can't.
"We don't want to be considered special or better than anyone
else. We only want the same rights as every other person and couple
Other guests included Sharon Dane, 54, and her wife Elaine
Crump, 53. They wed in Canada, but the union is not legally
recognised in Australia.
Gay male couple Steve Russell, 51, and John Dini, 29, were also
"The main premise of the dinner really is to put a human face to
the issue and just to discuss our own personal circumstances, our
own lives with the Prime Minister," Dini told ABC News.
"[We want to] say to her this is discrimination in so many words
and say this is how it impacts on us."