LOUIS BURKE | Culture | CONTACT
As the first same-sex weddings begin to take place across the nation, long-term couple Richard Stein (30) and Julia Lewis (31) have realised they can no longer say they’re not getting married until everyone can.
While both members of the six-year strong couple state they are happy marriage is now something everyone can be a part of, they are reluctant to include themselves as potential members of the institution and are hoping a new excuse will soon become clear.
For Stein, the situation has escalated since his mother asked him over Christmas, “when are you finally going to pop the bloody question?”
“I told my mum I was waiting for a sign. She scoffed so hard her dentures flew out of her mouth and broke on the floor. She’s right though, I need a better excuse.”
Basic compatibility issues aside, Lewis states it has been hard to think of a new reason the two of them should not enter into an ancient, legally binding contract that ideally ends with them both dying simultaneously.
“Before it was easier, people asked why we weren’t married and we’d say we’re waiting until everyone could. Now, unfortunately, we’ve got that.”
“Trying to think of a good excuse now but all I’ve got is ‘When we’re ready’ or ‘When Cory Bernardi can marry his dog.’”
Furthermore, Lewis said that while marriage equality is a huge achievement that has improved the lives of millions of Australians it has placed quite a strain on her relationship which was already hanging by a thread.
“After it [marriage equality] was made legal I couldn’t hang around him on Christmas or New Year’s; that’s peak proposal time! I don’t want him to do it because he thinks he has to and also because I don’t want to marry him.”
In a final statement, Stein says the hard decision he faces now stings of retribution for using the adversity faced by Australia’s queer population to take the moral high ground while responding to a straightforward question that made him feel uncomfortable.
“I guess what I’m afraid of saying is that we don’t want to get married. We’re too unhappy, it would never work, we’ve both got so much growing up to do. Hang on, lack of maturity? That could be a good excuse! ‘We’re both waiting to mature a bit.’ Nice!”