Two Canberra celebrants, Judy Aulich and Charles Foley, recognised that there are some celebrants who are not supportive of marriage equality. They wanted to find a way to let people know that there are celebrants who both support marriage equality and will be willing to conduct same sex marriages once they are legally able to.
Judy and Charles developed a logo which will make it easy for members of the LGBTI community to find a celebrant who will welcome their business and treat them with dignity and respect. The logo consists of two wedding rings in rainbow colours placed as an equal sign.
This initiative is supported by both Australian Marriage Equality and PFLAG.
So if you see this symbol, you will know that your celebrant supports marriage equality and, when marriage equality becomes a reality, will also be available to conduct same sex marriages.
You are happily planning your wedding and looking forward to a wonderful future of blissful married life together.
So why is your celebrant telling you about family relationship services or counselling or pre-marriage education – can they predict something about your relationship or are they just being pessimistic about the future of any marrying couple?
The reality is that each Celebrant must comply with the Marriage Act, which specifies that they must conduct themselves in accordance with a Code of Practice (contained as Schedule 1A of the Regulations). Specifically, Item 6 of the Code states: “Knowledge and understanding of family relationships services. A marriage celebrant must: 1. maintain an up‑to‑date knowledge about appropriate family relationships services in the community; and 2. inform parties about the range of information and services available to them to enhance, and sustain them throughout, their relationship.”
Your celebrant will be able to provide you with details of services specific to your region, and will also provide you with a copy of the Government issued booklet “Happily Ever … Before and After”. This booklet specifically discusses Family Relationships Online, which is an Australian Government Initiative.
Family Relationships Online provides all families with access to information about family relationship issues, ranging from building better relationships to dispute resolution. It also allows families to find out about a range of services that can assist them to manage relationship issues.
You can contact Family Relationships Online at: http://www.familyrelationships.gov.au or by phone on 1899 050 321.
So your celebrant is not being negative by providing you with this information, they are meeting their legal obligations and also providing you with details of a service that could help your relationship should you ever need it.