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Newlyweds offer same-sex marriage support with small protest

Abbey and Mitchell cover their ears in support of same-sex marriage as the monitum is read by wedding celebrant Alison Bartlett. The small protest has garnered plenty of interest around the globe.
Abbey and Mitchell cover their ears in support of same-sex marriage as the monitum is read by wedding celebrant Alison Bartlett. The small protest has garnered plenty of interest around the globe. Thomas Stewart Photography

A SYMBOLIC protest in Coffs Harbour supporting same-sex marriage has become a global hit both online and in social media.

When Abbey and Mitchell Johnston had their wedding at Sapphire Beach, there was one part of the ceremony they couldn't avoid but passionately disagreed with.

As the celebrant for the ceremony, Alison Bartlett is legally bound to read the monitum.

FUN PROTEST: Abbey and Mitchell Johnston cover their ears as wedding celebrant Alison Bartlett reads the monitum.
FUN PROTEST: Abbey and Mitchell Johnston cover their ears as wedding celebrant Alison Bartlett reads the monitum. Thomas Stewart Photography

Part of the monitum is: "Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others".

It was these words that led to the couple asking guests to cover their ears while the sentence was being spoken.

It was only a small wedding but the reaction to the symbolism has been gigantic.

The goal was to show Abbey and Mitchell won't stand for inequality. The newlyweds achieved their goal and so much more.

After posting some of the wedding photos by Thomas Stewart online over the weekend, the protest has made it all the way to Europe, Britain and the United States as a groundswell of support for equal rights for same-sex couples builds.

Abbey admits that having one eye on the future helped strengthen the couple's resolve to take some action.

Concerned what her children would think if they worked out Mum and Dad were married in a time same-sex couples couldn't.

Guests at Abbey and Mitchell's big day at Sapphire Beach cover their ears as the monitum is read by local wedding celebrant Alison Bartlett.
Guests at Abbey and Mitchell's big day at Sapphire Beach cover their ears as the monitum is read by local wedding celebrant Alison Bartlett. Thomas Stewart Photography

"I wanted to show them that we didn't just stand by. That we were proud of what we believed in, a very small act of defiance," Abbey said.

The moment was captured beautifully by photographer Thomas Stewart.

"Obviously it was purely symbolic," Mr Stewart said.

"But the whole thing was a beautiful protest in favour of same sex marriages being legalised in Australia."

Topics:  coffs harbour editors picks same-sex marriage sapphire sapphire beach



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