Malcolm Turnbull, you gave me some feels this week.
It wasn’t something political you said. It was something totally human I could really relate to.
You told Mamamia a story about how you and your wife Lucy got married, with a touch of blush-worthy humour and whole lot of heart. I smiled to myself as you recalled how you convinced a priest to marry you and Lucy to “prevent fornication” in his parish.
And this sweet revelation happened: “I have a much stronger sense of Lucy and me than I do of me.” It was a Jerry Maguire “you complete me” moment – and all the more touching because you’re celebrating your 37th wedding anniversary next week.
Malcolm talks about his love for Lucy. (Post continues after audio.)
My parents also celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary recently. My eyes well up with tears when I think about how strong their love is still after all these years. The way my dad looks at my mum is the kind of love you can only hope everyone finds in their lifetime. A special glint in the eye that recognises a love that’s been through life’s ups and downs, from immigrating to Australia from South Africa with small kids, to working ridiculously long hours for me and my sister’s futures.
They’ve raised two children who have gone on to become lively, independent, involved members of society who care about the world beyond their backyards. We have family values and a strong sense of what is right and wrong. We also know that life can be tough sometimes, but with loved ones by our sides, the road is smoother to travel on.
I have a particular person I lean on a lot for support every day. We’re celebrating our 10-year anniversary together next month. We got engaged nearly four years ago, so he’s technically my fiancé. Technically.
I’m in no rush to get married, to be honest. Nick and I do our thing and get on with life. Sometimes we even say “Why bother? We’ve got enough expenses in our lives. Let’s spend the money on an overseas holiday instead!”
We also question whether it’s for us. We’d be happy if we were married, we’d be happy if we weren’t. A lot of couples aren’t married, and that’s fine. But ultimately, the choice to officially mark a personal milestone should be just that – a personal milestone with no interference from the law.
For some, it’s a more pressing situation. Mamamia recently ran a beautiful story about Peter de Waal and Peter “Bon” Bonsall-Boone, who have been together for 50 years and are concerned that due to their health issues, they may run out of time before their marriage is recognised on home soil.
Listen to Mia Freedman's full interview with Malcolm Turnbull here. (Post continues after audio.)
People say to us “why don’t you go to New Zealand?” Well, it’s not my home. When we got engaged in 2013, we were fortunate enough to have an outpouring of love from our family and friends. (We were also probably the first gay couple to throw an engagement party in a pub in Lane Cove on Sydney’s north shore. Or were we?)
If anything, we’d want to get married just so we can thank the people in our lives for embracing us and making our lives richer. If we jetted off to NZ, the certificate would be there, but not necessarily all of our loved ones.
Malcolm, I truly admire your wedding anniversary and I’m not trying to take anything away from it.
I know you personally support marriage equality. I am not going to blast you or Bill Shorten or anyone for not making it happen yet.
All I want to say is, when it does happen, I’d love to have what you and Lucy have, what my parents have, and that special glint in the eye you only get from someone who’s shared your life story.
I don’t need a wedding anniversary, but it would be nice to decide that for myself.
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