Australian comedian and television presenter Adam Hills is to host Australia’s first ‘mass gay TV wedding’.
The star who previously hosted Spicks and Specks believes that by televising the marriages, which will not be valid under Australian law, he will shine a light on the same sex marriage debate currently raging in Australia.
The Herald Sun reports that 20 couples have already asked to take part in the event which will be filmed on the 26th March and broadcast two days later.
Hills told the newspaper: “Same-sex couples may not be able to legally marry in Australia yet, but they sure as hell can have a great big TV wedding.”
Stephen Fry has reportedly lent the scheme his support.
Hills says he decided to televise the event after asking the audience of a chat show whether they would allow gay couples to marry, and the majority said they would.
Two private members’ bills have been introduced at the parliament of Australia which would give equal marriage rights to gay couples if they can muster more support.
One bill was initiated by Adam Bandt, of the Green Party and Independent Andrew Wilke, and the other by Stephen Jones, a Labor backbencher.
Mr Bandt said: “I believe it is love that has brought us to this place in this debate and it is love that will carry us over the threshold of discrimination to full marriage equality.”
The bills both provide exemptions for religious institutions.
The Labor Party voted last year to change its position on marriage to give equal rights to gay couples and Prime Minister Gillard announced she would allow her MPs a free, ‘conscience’ vote, although she is not personally a supporter of equal marriage rights.
Australia’s official opposition, a coalition of parties led by the Liberals, opposes gay marriage. They have 71 seats in the House of Representatives’ 150 seats, compared with the Labor party’s 72.
Last year, Lady Gaga asked her fans to make Mrs Gillard “hear their screams” about equality and same-sex marriage.
She said: “We pay taxes, fight wars for this country, nurse you when you are sick, make you laugh, sing and dance for you, play netball for you, star in your movies, cook your meals, decorate your store windows.
“And, chances are, gay people designed whatever it is you’re wearing.
“All Australians, including gay Australians, should have exactly the same rights, including the right to love, marry and take care of our partners.”
On the current iniquity of Australian marriage rules, she said: “The law means that you could be a serial killer and have killed all of your spouses and yet you would still be considered fit to marry.