gay wedding

Stuart Henshall and James Brechney tied the knot at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Newlyweds in Australia shaded opponents of marriage equality Down Under in the most epic way: Stuart Henshall and James Brechney shredded “Vote No” posters into confetti for their wedding Saturday atop a float at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The couple, who both campaigned for marriage equality, held onto the homophobic fliers after the nationwide postal vote.

gay wedding

During the voting period, which ran from September to November, anti-equality activists circulated offensive posters and leaflets in various regions. In Sydney, residents found a note in their mailboxes declaring that, “Homosexuality is a tragedy of a family, a grave to the family bloodline, a curse of family sonlessness.” (The note also warned that same-sex marriage will lead “transexual women” to prey on females in the ladies room.)

In Melbourne, a poster surfaced showing men gripping rainbow belts over a scared child, with the tagline “Stop the fags” and the declaration that 92% of children raised by gay parents are abused. Another poster claimed gays and lesbians were “40% of child predators.”


Nonetheless Australians overwhelmingly voted in favor of the freedom to marry and, less than a month later, parliament passed equal marriage legislation.

Brechney, the former board director of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, proposed to Henshall when the “Yes” vote was announced on November 14.

“We thought, wouldn’t it be cool to get married at Mardi Gras’s 40th anniversary?” Brechney told ABC News Australia. “It’s been a bit of a rush but no regrets yet—it’s been amazing.”

But he added, getting married on a parade float is a bit of a logistical challenge.

“You’ve got to keep moving your truck so we’ve quickly got to swap the rings, say ’I do,’ sign the forms, throw a confetti canon, and we’ll be married right there in the heart of Oxford Street.”

This year’s parade and festival drew more than 200,000. Some same-sex couples tied the knot in celebration of the festivities—including a lucky lesbian couple who had the cast of Orange is the New Black as wedding crashers.

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