Couple Protests Gay Marriage Ban By Asking Wedding Guests To Cover Ears

by Gillian Fuller

Same-sex marriage may have been legalized in the US on Friday, but the same can't be said for the rest of the world: Currently, only 20 countries legally recognize gay marriage.

To protest Australia's stance against same-sex marriage, newlyweds Abbey and Mitchell Johnston hosted a quiet demonstration during their nuptials at Australia's Sapphire Beach this past February, and now, it's making waves in light of the US Supreme Court's recent ruling.

The demonstration occurred during the recital of the monitum, a legal passage read during all Australian weddings.

The monitum states,

Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is a union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others.

During its reading, they motioned for all their guests to cover their ears -- a symbolic silencing of the statement.

Abbey explained,

I read an article about how celebrants are turning their microphones down when they say the monitum and the idea hit me. I nervously informed Mitchell of my idea hoping he wouldn't think it was lame. He initially laughed so hard he cried and then he said, 'Yes, absolutely we have to do this. You are crazy and I love it!'

Photographer Thomas Stewart, who captured the meaningful protest, called it the most "creative and fun" protest against Australia's "archaic laws."

He told Daily Mail,

Obviously, it was purely symbolic… but the whole thing was a beautiful protest in favor of same-sex marriages being legalized in Australia.

The photographs from the ceremony, seen below, were shared by countless others who support the newlyweds' protest.

Meet Abbey and Mitchell Johnston.

Thomas Stewert

The Australian newlyweds wanted to protest the country's same-sex marriage ban during their wedding.

Thomas Stewert


So while reciting the monitum, an antiquated legal definition of marriage, the guests symbolically covered their ears.

Thomas Stewert


The goal was to show they won't stand for inequality.

Thomas Stewert


The newlyweds also asked their officiant to explain their stances on marriage equality to their guests.

Thomas Stewert


Everyone participated in the silent protest...

Thomas Stewert


...and Abbey says she couldn't be prouder.

Thomas Stewert


She said, "I wanted to show them that we didn't just stand by..."

Thomas Stewert


"...that we were proud of what we believed in, a very small act of defiance."

Thomas Stewert


Here's to the badass newlyweds and their awesome guests.

Thomas Stewert


Citations: The Poignant Moment a Bride and Groom Support Gay Marriage By Asking Guests to Cover Their Ears When the Celebrant Declares Marriage is Between a Man and His Wife (Daily Mail)