Dr Kerryn Phelps: Married at First Sight and Seven Year Switch are a "bloody insult".

There were two reality offerings on the major networks on Tuesday night, ‘Married at First Sight‘ and ‘Seven Year Switch‘.

The first forces couples who’ve never met to get hitched on the spot, while the second is more of a ‘Wife Swap’-esque affair, in which couples who’ve been married a few years trade partners.

Both programs have been billed as “must-see”, “shocking” social experiments, but for LGBTI Australians, “insulting” would be a more accurate descriptor.

Marriage equality advocate Dr Kerryn Phelps was cooking dinner with her partner Jackie last night, when the topic of what they might watch on TV came up. Jackie laid out the above choices, unimpressed.

“We’ve been fighting for nearly two decades for marriage equality and they’re putting this rubbish on television?” she asked.

Incensed, Kerryn, who was formerly president of the Australian Medical Association, took to Facebook to express her distaste.

“What a bloody insult to those of us in committed long term same sex marriages who are not recognised under Australian law,” she wrote.

“What a disgusting affront to our children who are told by elected senators and right-wing buffoons that our families are not ‘worthy’ of legal equality.”

Kerryn and Jackie have been together for 19 years, in 1998 they were married in a religious ceremony. They married again in a legal ceremony in New York in 2011, but their union — like many other same-sex couples forced to marry abroad — is still not recognised in Australia.

Since yesterday evening, her post has already been shared more than 2000 times.

“Clearly, it’s hit a nerve,” she told Mamamia, “marriage is the cause-de-jour.”

“It’s the most high profile civil rights movement of our generation and I think in some ways it’s poking their noses at the marriage equality movement.”

Kerryn Phelps with her wife Jackie Stricker-Phelps. Image: Facebook

Rodney Croome, national director of Australian Marriage Equality agreed, praising Dr Phelps for articulating the hurt many LGBTI families are feeling.


"Many Australian same-sex partners feel it's a double standard that strangers can tie the knot on TV shows but we can't marry even if we've been together for decades," he said.

"Marriage is meant to be about love and commitment, not entertainment, so let's return marriage to it's true meaning by allowing same-sex couple to marry."

Kerryn also pointed to the hypocrisy of conservative politicians such as Eric Abetz, Cory Bernardi and groups like the Australian Christian Lobby who've stayed silent about the programs.

"I think it shows that their agenda is purely an anti-gay agenda, they’re not there supporting marriage. They’re not there supporting religion," she said.

Surprisingly, Liberal MP George Christensen chimed in on Twitter to offer Kerryn his support.

"Probably the one thing he’s ever said that I agree with", she quipped.

Mamamia contacted Channel 9 for comment, but they declined.

Meanwhile the world has a message for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull:


Video via All Out

Feature image via Married at First Sight and Kerryn Phelps on Facebook.