Lesbian couple ‘didn’t dare to dream’ of same-sex marriage in Australia

It’s been a whole year since Australia’s same-sex marriage law came into effect.

Rhonda and Michelle Redfern tell PinkNews that they didn’t “dream that it would happen in our lifetime.”

It was in the murky days of dial-up internet, more than 18 years ago, that Rhonda and Michelle, who now live in Melbourne, first met online.

After realising they had similar interests, the pair went on their first date for coffee.

“I met someone who was my intellectual equal and someone with whom I had many shared values, including respect for other humans,” Michelle says of meeting Rhonda.

The couple soon moved in together. But, for years, that was as far as they could “officially” take their relationship.

They couldn’t get married, or even enter a civil union, together.

“Did it really, really, really happen? Am I going to wake up and find it was a dream?”

—Rhonda Redfern

On December 7, 2017, the Australian government passed same-sex marriage, after 61.6 percent of citizens voted for it in a voluntary postal survey.

We never thought same-sex marriage would happen, say lesbian couple Michelle and Rhonda Redfern

It was a surreal moment for Michelle, 53,  and Rhonda, 54, who doubted that same-sex weddings would be legalised in their lifetime.

“[I was] in shock,” says Rhonda, who works in finance, of the moment same-sex marriage was legalised.

“Did it really, really, really happen? Am I going to wake up and find it was a dream?”

Michelle and Rhonda Redfern who shared their experience of same-sex marriage in Australia with PinkNews

Michelle (left) and Rhonda Redfern. (Courtesy of Michelle and Rhonda Redfern)

Michelle, who founded professional women’s network Advancing Women and campaigns for gender diversity, says she “hadn’t dared to dream that it would happen in our lifetime.”

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