A gay couple from New South Wales, Australia, say they are not in support of same-sex marriage and they want to preserve “traditional” marriage.
Ben Rogers and Mark Poidevin from Wollongong, who met 15 years ago on Gay.com, have committed their lives to each other but say they don’t feel they need to have a legally binding certificate to show it. They say they want to preserve the “traditional” definition of marriage between a man and a woman.
“If we make one exception for one community, that being the same-sex couples, where does it stop?” Mark Poidevin told ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday night.
Mr Poidevin, a Catholic, said if the Australia same-sex marriage vote goes ahead, it could be the country’s “Trump moment” where the result is unexpected.
“This could be the Brexit or Trump moment for Australia, where the polls are saying one thing but you go to the ballot box and people are clearly in another mind, going to vote another way,” he said.
Mr Rogers said he has already made peace with not being able to get married.
He said: “There’s never been any discrimination with any of our families, or dramas coming our way because of our sexuality. When I first came out I think one of the consequences was giving up marriage and children and things like that.”
Mr Poidevin said he used to be a supporter of same-sex marriage but Mr Rogers convinced him otherwise. He had proposed to Rogers five years ago but Rogers refused and explained his reasons.
“I just explained to him, ‘I don’t think it’s my cup of tea,'” Mr Rogers said. “It’s not something I had ever envisioned.”
Many social media users have slammed the couple with some saying “it’s fine” if they don’t want to marry but they “shouldn’t support no one being able to get married”. Rogers and Poidevin spoke about how both camps in the same-sex marriage debate have started to get “nasty”.
“The campaign’s gotten nasty on both sides and I think the comments that I hear are, ‘You’re a homophobe if you don’t support gay marriage’,” Mr Poidevin said.
“I’m a gay person here that’s coming out and saying, ‘Well, no it’s not. It’s your right to have a view, your right to have a view either way and people should be respected. You’re not intolerant if you don’t support a view.”