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.