This week has all been about gay marriage — the slow removal of Proposition 8 in California and New York State’s crawl
towards marriage equality. Now, in Australia, a dinner hijacking can be added to the mix.
Australian Prime Minister
Julia Gillard offered to host a dinner in an auction during the National Press Gallery’s annual charity ball.
The dinner was won by Get Up!, an advocacy
group that gives Australians opportunities to get
involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues. Get Up! paid
31,000 Australian dollars ($32,200 CAD) from its marriage equality
campaign to lobby Gillard on her anti-marriage equality stance.
Gillard now finds herself playing dinner host to three same-sex couples at her
official residence in Canberra.
Gillard admitted in March of
this year that gay marriage was against her upbringing. She said that she had
been brought up in a "pro-union, pro-Labour
upbringing in a quite conservative family, in the sense of personal values."
An article in the Australian Daily
Telegraph reported that Gillard said she was “on the conservative side"
of the gay marriage issue, “because of the way our society is and how we
got here… I think that there are some important things from our past that need
to continue to be part of our present and part of our future.”
According to Same Same, an Australian gay and lesbian
lifestyle website, one of the couples to dine with Gillard are Sandy Miller and
In an interview with Same Same, Bucke said she felt “frazzled” but
was ready to tackle dinner with Gillard.
“We don’t want her to feel
threatened or bombarded. We just want her to hear our story and to see why
it’s important to us and how it’s affected our children,” says Bucke.
Up! entered into the auction on June 15. They appealed to supporters to donate
to the auction’s funds, stating that all donations would be refunded if they
didn’t win the bid.
A tweet went out announcing the win.