Cris happy to make it official

November 22, 2017

Cris Todd believes amendments that seek to protect religious freedoms are unnecessary.

CRIS Todd was getting married in April whatever the result of the Australian Marriage Survey.

A venue was reserved, invitations were sent to friends and family, a photographer and celebrant picked, entertainment hired — even the cake-maker had been selected.

But following last Wednesday’s result, Cris said he was relieved he would now be able to officially tie the knot like all heterosexual couples.

Cris, a gay advocate who works in Echuca and grew up in Tongala, said he was glad there would be less discrimination when he and his partner of nine years, Damien Stevens, welcome their surrogate daughter to the world in March.

“It’s hard to describe how it feels,” he said.

“I’m glad we are able to catch up to other countries and have marriage equality after so many years of campaigning.

“I’ve been dealing with discrimination on a personal level for many years, so it is nice to see some of it removed.”

Cris said he was pleased his daughter would grow up in a world where her parents’ marriage was recognised.

“We have known Australia wanted marriage equality because of the various polls,” he said.

“I think the result reflects poorly on the government who have stalled this for so long and wasted taxpayers’ time and money.

“There are many areas in our society that are underfunded and that all these resources could have been better spent on.”

As for the other side of the coin, Cris believed amendments to the bill currently being debated in parliament were unnecessary.

‘‘Religion already has protections,’’ he said.

‘‘We can’t remove some discrimination and then add more by removing anti-discrimination laws. If we do that, we go backwards as a society.

‘‘People will try to get amendments through but I don’t think they will make it.’’

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