Lifestyle

'It's ridiculous': Why Coast girl got married in embassy

MARRIED: Jess and Crystal Rogers were wed in the British Embassy in Perth, and celebrated with friends and family at a beach ceremony the following day.
MARRIED: Jess and Crystal Rogers were wed in the British Embassy in Perth, and celebrated with friends and family at a beach ceremony the following day. Contributed

LIKE most parents, Peachester mum Sharon Vitala was overjoyed to watch her daughter get married.

Unlike most parents she had to follow Crystal off Australian soil to stand witness as she bound herself in law to the love of her life, Jess Rogers.

"They were legally married in the UK embassy in Perth," Mrs Vitala said.

Both Crystal and Jess were born in Australia, but Jess's dual British citizenship meant the couple was able to be married under UK law in the embassy.

Mrs Vitala said it was disappointing that Crystal - a pharmacist - and Jess - a case worker in the disability sector - had to technically leave their home country to be married.

"It does seem ridiculous that they've had to go out of Australian soil to get married," she said.

"It's pretty sad that Australians have to revert to that if they want to have a ceremony that they feel is legal.

"They contribute to Australian society just as much as every other Australian couple does."

 

Jess and Crystal Rogers are like any other couple except they don't receive the support of the Australian Government, Crystal's mum Sharon Vitala says.
Jess and Crystal Rogers are like any other couple except they don't receive the support of the Australian Government, Crystal's mum Sharon Vitala says. Contributed

Crystal and Jess met in Perth, they bought a house together, and "do all the the things that a normal couple does", but they did not have the support of the Australian Government, Mrs Vitala said.

"They're very lucky in the sense that both Crystal and Jess have the support of both their families; there's a lot of people that don't have that and not having the support of the government makes that even harder," she said.

Last week marriage equality advocacy group The Equality Campaign visited Caloundra as part of its national campaign for civil marriage equality.

Former Olympic swimmer Daniel Kowalski emphasised marriage equality was not just a "city thing".

"It is nationwide and it affects, directly and indirectly, so many Australians," he said.

"It is about our friends, families, colleagues and teammates who all just want to be equal so they can get on with their lives.

"Marriage equality will not change anything for the vast majority of Australians, but will make a profound difference to the status and dignity of many."

 

Sharon Vitala and husband Vessa with their daughter Crystal Rogers on her wedding day.
Sharon Vitala and husband Vessa with their daughter Crystal Rogers on her wedding day. Contributed

Mrs Vitala said it was about time that Australia got behind the gay community on marriage equality.

"They just want to live their lives and be happy and just be entitled to everything that a husband and wife are entitled to," she said.

"I mean, you know everyone's entitled to happiness and love and a future with a permanent partner."

Topics:  editors picks gay marriage marriage equality sharon vitala the equality campaign


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