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Gay Dads of Australia Say: It's Time for Marriage Equality

On September 12, the Australian public will be asked if they support marriage equality.

Why isn't same-sex marriage already legal in Australia?


The government has been stalling and the previous prime minister, Tony Abbott, had rejected calls to allow his MPs to vote on same-sex marriage, and instead proposed a plebiscite - a compulsory national vote. Abbott was removed from his party's leadership when Malcolm Turnbull, a supporter of gay marriage, led an internal coup and replaced him as prime minister.

But when Turnbull became the PM, he decided to stick with the plebiscite. Just last year, Turnbull's party was reelected, and the plebiscite is finally happening. Once they hear from the Australian people, the government will vote on the issue.

We're showing our support to all our families in Australia and raising our voices with them! And what better way to show that #LoveIsLove! than through the perspectives and photos of Australian gay families. We caught up with some dads to ask them what legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia would mean to them.


Dale and Paul with Alysia from Brisbane, Queensland, currently living in NYC

"Before our daughter came into our lives, marriage equality meant having the option to celebrate our love without difference and in the same way our friends and family could with their partners. Today we fight for equality so that our daughter's future can be free from discrimination and unnecessary hurt that comes from this ugly debate. Now and always we will stand by equality in every single way to pave the way to a kinder world for our children. Love is Love!" - Dale and Paul

Cohen and Murray with Charlee from Kiama, New South Wales

"[Marriage equality] would mean the world to us as it gives us legal security for our future as a family." - Cohen and Murray

Josh with his kids, Gold Coast

"My love is no different to yours. I want my kids to know that they can love whomever they choose no matter race, religion or gender. I will always be ready to support them and walk down the aisle. Vote YES and end this debate. #Loveislove." - Josh

David and Billy with Christian, South Australia

"The legalizing of same-sex marriage for our family means that our relationship would finally be treated equally in the eyes of the law. We would have the protection, security and certainty that if something were to happen (God forbid) to one of us, the other would be protected financially as well as our sons. This is also really important to pave the way for the future LGBTI generations to ensure they grow up in a country that is full of love and respect." - David and Billy

Andy and Simon with Adaline, Melbourne, Victoria

"It would mean the world to us. Firstly, for the simply joy of sharing our love and commitment with family and friends; but secondly to be recognised by the law and society in which we live - to have a world in which our family is no more or less than any other."

"Most of all, marriage equality is not just about us but the culture in which future LGBTI kids grow up. We know, first hand, that being "different" can be difficult and painful. However, kids who feel "different" at school don't have the same life experience as us to know that they'll be ok. Having same-sex marriage legalised would be a strong message to these kids that who they are is everything they need to be and that they are as good and as loved as everyone else. Life is for everyone." - Andy and Simon

Blue and Shaun with their kids, South Australia

"Australia has a duty to legitimize all love and acknowledge all families. Marriage equality will finally do this!" - Blue and Shaun

Holt and Simon with Olivia, Brisbane, Queensland

Legalizing same-sex marriage means we are another step forward in achieving equal rights just like every other Australian citizen. Holt and I may not feel a need to marry just right now, but if we do one day that should be OUR choice without any outdated law or debate or judgment." - Simon and Holt

Paul and Michael with Levi, Sydney, Australia

"It's so important for same-sex families like ours. It recognizes the fact that we've been married for 5 years (we were officially married in NYC) and that we can legitimately call each other husband without having to explain to our son that our country doesn't believe in our union. It will limit those who are against same-sex marriage from having a platform to disparage our family." - Michael and Paul

Mike and Colin with Jack and Maple, Sydney, New South Wales

"Australia is an amazingly beautiful country to live in. Legalizing same-sex marriage would allow the LGBTI community here to have the same basic human rights as everyone else and the option to love who you want to love. One day our family would be recognized as normal without negative bias or labels." - Colin and Mike

Drew and Joseph with their kids, Sydney, Australia

"Legalizing same-sex marriage would mean the world to us. Our children would love to be a part of our wedding, sharing in the whole experience that brings us closer together as a family. We lived in Canada for a couple of years, where same-sex marriage is a reality, and has been for over a decade. We got to meet a few legally married families who experienced what it's like to not have to worry about things that other people take for granted."

"We have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees ensuring that our family is protected in the case of one or either of us becoming incapacitated, giving each of us power of attorney and guardianship over one another. [That is] something we wouldn't have to consider if we were allowed to marry."

"For our children, it wouldn't change anything for them as they still see us as "Daddy" and "Da" and a piece of paper won't change that. It will however protect us all as a family, and that means the world to us." - Drew and Joseph

Answers edited for clarity.

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Is Australian Olympic Swimmer Ian Thorpe Soon to Be a Dad?

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Ian Thorpe, a former Olympic swimmer for Australia, recently announced that he and his long-term partner Ryan Channing are planning to become dads via surrogacy sometime soon. Thorpe, a gold medalist who came out as gay after he retired from swimming, says he and his partner are looking for a surrogate in Los Angeles because the laws in Australia remain too restrictive.

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Staff at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium began to suspect that the penguins, Magic and Sphen, were bonding earlier this year.

"We'd go over there and Magic and Spehn would be bowing to each other," said Tish Hannan, one of the aquariums keepers, according to ABC. Tish added that bowing is a way for gentoo penguins to say they love each other, "which is super cute."

The penguins were first given a "dummy" egg so they could practice their parenting skills. "They immediately knew exactly what it was and started incubating it," Tish said.

Interestingly, gentoo penguins split parenting responsibilities equally between the sexes. "We're not going to need to step in just because they're males," she said.

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β€œFatherhood has taught us what real strength is: strength to be our best on a daily; strength to be brave even when you don’t know how; strength to overcome even the most challenging of obstacles.” πŸ’ͺβ€οΈπŸŒˆπŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘§
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According to decades-old immigration law, a child born abroad must have a biological connection to a parent that is a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible to receive citizenship upon birth. Children born via surrogacy are determined to be "out of wedlock," according to the Times report," which then requires a more onerous process to qualify for citizenship, such as demonstrating that a biological parent is not only an American citizen, but has spent at least five years in the country.

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"This is where our life is. This is where our jobs are," James told the Times. "Our daughter can't be here, but she has no one else to care for her."

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They signed with Circle Surrogacy after interviewing a few agencies. "We immediately connected with their entire staff, particularly Anne Watson who lovingly dealt with my healthy neuroses on the daily for 1.5 years," said Byron. "They definitely personalized the service and helped us understand all 2,000 moving parts." The dads-to-be were also very impressed with how much emotional support they received from Circle.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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