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.
Celebrants have a legal requirement to advise a marrying couple of details of “information and services available to them to enhance, and sustain them throughout, their relationship.” (Marriage Regulations 1963 – Regulation 37L 6b).
A Government initiative to help strengthen relationships, and reduce the divorce rate, was the Stronger Relationships trial. In summary, the Trial:
- commenced on 1 July 2014 for a trial period of 12 months;
- offered a $200.00 subsidy for relationship education and counselling to eligible couples; and
- was open to all couples who were over the age of 18 years and in a committed relationship.
A media release issued on 1 February 2015 by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison, advises that due to the trial being undersubscribed, the trial will end on Monday 9 February 2015.
What does this mean for marrying couples?
If you haven’t already signed up for this Trial, and want to participate, you must register before Monday 9 February 2015. You can do this at: www.dss.gov.au/strongerrelationships.
If you have signed up for the Trial, you have until June 2015 to use the services offered.
You can read the media release here at: http://scottmorrison.dss.gov.au/media-releases/extra-17-million-for-frontline-social-services-as-stronger-relationships-trial-ends