Lesbians, Gays Lobby Australian PM Over Dinner
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an opponent of same-sex marriage, hosted a dinner for two lesbian couples and a pair of gay men Tuesday after an Australian activist group won a charity auction.
The couples used the three-course meal at Gillard’s official residence in Canberra to lobby the prime minister to allow gay marriage.
Twelve-year-old Matthew Miller presented Gillard with flowers and two letters explaining why he and his brother Dylan, 9, would like their biological mother Sandy Miller to marry their other mother, Louise Bucke.
"Since they’re not allowed to get married, they’re basically being called not normal and we’re not known as a proper family," Matthew told The Associated Press at Parliament House before the dinner, which the boys did not attend.
Along with Miller and Bucke, the other guests were Brisbane academic Sharon Dane, 54, who married Elaine Crump, 53, in Canada in a ceremony that is not recognized in Australia.
Steve Russell, 51, and John Dini, 29, decided against marrying overseas because it would carry no weight in Australia. While they could have a civil union recognized under state law in their hometown of Melbourne, they don’t regard that as equal to marriage.
Alex Greenwich, a late inclusion on the invitation list who is spokesman for the lobby group Australian Marriage Equality, said the dinner gave the guests optimism.