Australians Say ‘Yes’ to Same-Sex Marriage, Clearing Path for Legalization

Thursday , 6, June 2019 Comments Off on Australians Say ‘Yes’ to Same-Sex Marriage, Clearing Path for Legalization

“This is our proudest moment as gay and lesbian Australians,” said Chris Lewis, 60, an artist from Sydney, who waved a large rainbow flag he bought in San Francisco about 30 years ago. “Finally I can be proud of my country.”

But many Australians said it was also late in coming.

Annika Lowry, 42, who brought her 4-year-old daughter to the celebration, said the vote revealed a widening gap between Australia’s political class and voters who have been demanding same-sex marriage legislation for years.

“It was not just about us,” she said. “It’s for our kids, so that they know equality is important.”

Alex Greenwich, a state lawmaker from New South Wales and the co-chairman of Australian Marriage Equality, an advocacy group, said the vote “shows that Australians have truly come together in support of their gay and lesbian mates and have said that everybody should be able to have the freedom to marry.”

In calling for the national survey, Mr. Turnbull sought public backing for a shift in social policy that was opposed by many members of his center-right Liberal Party.

Mr. Turnbull voted yes, and urged other Australians to do so as a matter of fairness, seeking to blunt opposition from far-right members of his party.

Lucy and I are voting YES because it’s fair. Make sure you have your say too by returning your survey form. pic.twitter.com/6xhaDYC7pQ

— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) Sept. 23, 2017

“My commitment was to give every Australian their say,” Mr. Turnbull said after the results were announced. “That has been done, they have spoken.”

He added: “Now it is up to us, here in the Parliament of Australia, to get on with it — to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do, and get this done, this year, before Christmas.”

Dean Smith, a federal senator from the Liberal Party, who is gay, said that he would immediately introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. He said on Tuesday that he believed he had the votes to pass the legislation in the Senate and send it to Parliament’s lower house for approval.

Lyle Shelton, a Christian lobbyist who was the “no” campaign’s most outspoken advocate, said he would begrudgingly “accept the democratic decision.”

“Millions of Australians will always believe the truth about marriage, that it’s between one man and one woman,” Mr. Shelton said. “It could take years, if not decades, to win that back.”

Photo

A “yes” rally in Sydney, Australia, in September. Polls had consistently indicated that Australians favor legalizing same-sex marriage.Credit Saeed Khan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The record of subjecting same-sex marriage to a public vote remains mixed.

In the United States, numerous states outlawed same-sex marriage in referendums; in 2012, Maine, Maryland and Washington became the first states to legalize such unions by referendum. The United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the nation in 2015.

As the deadline approached for citizens to mail in their ballots, passions were inflamed by heartfelt pleas and vitriolic attacks.

Many supporters of same-sex marriage opposed the survey, saying that human rights should not be a matter for an up-or-down vote and urging Parliament to decide the matter.

Estimates put the cost of the survey around 122 million Australian dollars, or $97 million. The poll was not a legally required step for changing the law.

Activists in September challenged the survey’s legality, arguing that it was an unconstitutional use of tax money, but Australia’s High Court allowed the poll to proceed. In the end, the response rate was higher than supporters of same-sex marriage anticipated, showing both frustration with parliamentary inaction and the extent to which mainstream opinion has shifted in support of sexual minorities.

Although legalization is not guaranteed, the results announced on Wednesday make the country’s path to same-sex marriage much clearer.

Mr. Greenwich said the outcome delivered “an unequivocal mandate for Parliament to legislate for this bill as soon as possible for a fair bill this year.”

Focus has already shifted to that bill, and what form it will take.

“After a cost of 122 million, and over two months of campaigning and years of public discussion, it makes no sense to delay a parliamentary debate,” Mr. Smith, the Liberal senator, said in an interview. “Australians upheld their end of the bargain by voting en masse. Now it’s time for Parliament to uphold its end of the same deal.”

Mr. Smith’s bill provides for some religious protections and allows members of the clergy to refuse to solemnize marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs.

“That bill is obviously manifestly inadequate,” said Mr. Shelton, the opponent of same-sex marriage, who added that it focused on wedding ceremonies. “The ‘yes’ side should make good on its promise that no one else’s freedoms would be affected. They’ve maintained this all along. They’ve said that our concerns about freedom of speech and freedom of religion are red herrings.”

Mr. Shelton said Mr. Smith’s bill would affect Muslim and Christian schools that wish to teach that marriage is between one man and one woman. “We’re worried about bakers and florists being taken to court, as has occurred in the United States,” he added.

An alternative bill, proposed by another Liberal Party senator, James Paterson, has more robust religious protections. His bill would allow service providers like bakers and photographers to refuse service to same-sex couples, without facing legal action. His bill would provide additional anti-discrimination protections for religious people and businesses opposed to gay marriage. Reflecting the national debate that often centered on the well-being of children, Mr. Paterson’s bill would allow parents the right to take their children out of classes that “conflict with their values.”

Mr. Turnbull said he did not believe Mr. Paterson’s bill could pass Parliament. “I don’t believe Australians would welcome, and certainly the government would not countenance, making legal discrimination that is illegal, that is unlawful, today.”

At least seven members of Australia’s Parliament have publicly committed to voting against any bill to legalize same-sex marriage, according to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Most lawmakers, however, said they would support such a bill.

“There’s no denying that this has been tough for many people. This has been a campaign which has gone on for more than 10 years,” said Mr. Greenwich, the same-sex marriage advocate. “This result is a reflection of the leadership that’s been shown by everyday Australians during this campaign. It shows that Australians truly did have the opportunity to shape our nation as a fairer and more equal place.”

Adam Baidawi reported from Melbourne, and Damien Cave from Sydney, Australia. Isabella Kwai contributed reporting from Sydney.

Follow Adam Baidawi on Twitter: @ads_b.

A version of this article appears in print on November 15, 2017, on Page A4 of the New York edition with the headline: Australia Votes ‘Yes’ On Same-Sex Marriage.

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11 Photos Taken Before And After Brides Got Their Wedding Makeup | Bored Panda

Tuesday , 4, June 2019 Comments Off on 11 Photos Taken Before And After Brides Got Their Wedding Makeup | Bored Panda

How a bride looks is usually one of the most popular topics among wedding guests. It’s right there next to such classics as the weather or that uncle that got way too drunk. And one of the key components of their appearance is makeup. Based in Prizren, Kosovo, beauty artist Arber Bytyqi is a man of many traits, and one of them is exactly that; accentuating brides’ facial features.
The best way to examine Arber’s work is through his prominent online presence. So far, the makeup artist has amassed over 262k Instagram followers by regularly uploading pictures of his work. Other fashion and beauty projects aside, a big part of his feeds consists of before-and-after pics of the brides he worked with and their striking transformations.
Image credits: arber_bytyqi_mua
It’s also worth remembering that every bride is different with their own style and personality. Some love natural makeup, others want the full-on glam, and some brides request alternative bridal looks that are quite rare even on Pinterest. There are rarely rules when it comes to their big day, but throughout history, trends have come and gone.
“I got interested in makeup when I was just a child,” Arber told Bored Panda . “The first drawings that I did were of eyes, girls or dresses. I used to take my mom’s make-up and play with it when I was only five years old, so I knew that I’ll become a makeup artist pretty early.”
Image credits: arber_bytyqi_mua
“When I finished high school, my family didn’t want me to continue my studies in the beauty industry because in our culture it’s considered tabu if a male works in this industry. So, at first, I got a master’s degree in economics and only then did I follow my dream and started working as a makeup artist.”
Image credits: arber_bytyqi_mua
“When I meet my client, the first question I ask is what kind of occasion are they getting their makeup done for. I also ask my clients if they have any specific requests. For example, if they want a natural or dramatic look. Then I ask them [to show me] the dress that they are going to wear. The design of the dress and its details reveal the style of the look the client is going for. Then, I analyze their facial features.”
“We serve more than one thousand brides in a year. The summer, in particular, is a very demanding season for bridal makeup. During this period, I and my team serve as many as 60 or more clients daily.”
“Makeup is like jewelry for the face,” Arber said to everyone experimenting with makeup. “Play with colors and shapes. Don’t be afraid to transform yourself. At the end of the day, you can just clean it.”
People had a lot to say about this makeup artist’s work
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Meghan Markle’s Second Wedding Dress For Reception

Sunday , 2, June 2019 Comments Off on Meghan Markle’s Second Wedding Dress For Reception

The Duchess of Sussex made an appearance Saturday evening ahead of her second wedding reception in a bespoke gown designed by Stella McCartney.

Meghan and her new husband Harry left Windsor Castle shortly after 7 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET) in a silver-blue Jaguar E-Type driven by the prince. The couple were on their way to the private evening reception, hosted by the groom’s father, Prince Charles.

Harry had also changed his outfit, appearing in traditional black tie rather than the military dress he wore for the earlier ceremony.

Meghan’s lily white gown featured a high neck and is made of silk crepe. She paired the dress with silky satin heels by Aquazzura, a luxury Italian shoe label. They feature a nude mesh with baby blue soles. Her hair was styled for the second reception by George Northwood, a London-based stylist.

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, also changed into a Stella McCartney look on Saturday evening. She opted for a scarlet red long-sleeved dress in silk cady, paired with a gold box clutch by the same designer.

Around 200 close family and friends received invitations to Frogmore House for the event, another royal residence in Windsor.

The royal bride surprised onlookers earlier in the day when she revealed a couture design by Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller. Waight Keller was hardly mentioned by bookies and fashion experts in the lead up to the big day.

Meghan will make a speech at the evening event, Kensington Palace told CNN’s Max Foster earlier Saturday.

Traditionally, it is unusual for the bride to deliver a speech at her wedding reception, that honor usually being reserved for the bridegroom, best man and father of the bride.

Stella McCartney, the 46-year-old daughter of Paul McCartney, is one of the most renowned and respected female designers in the notoriously male-dominated world of luxury womenswear. Her clothes, which combine elements of traditional femininity with Savile Row-quality tailoring in her designs, have been worn by the likes of Rihanna, Cara Delevingne and Gwyneth Paltrow.

A number of other guests at Saturday’s ceremony arrived wearing Stella McCartney creations. Oprah Winfrey wore a blush, double-tiered dress with lace trim made of sustainable viscose by the female designer, while Amal Clooney stunned onlookers in a Stella McCartney golden yellow gown.

Since founding her eponymous label in 2001, following a term as creative director of Parisian fashion house Chloé, McCartney has been a advocate for sustainable fashion. She rejects the use of fur and leather, and has been vocal in denouncing the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry.

“It’s just the way I was brought up,” McCartney told CNN in 2015, when asked about her environmental advocacy. “It’s been ingrained in me to have respect for fellow creatures and to be mindful of how one approaches life, so it was a no-brainer for me to take that into the way that I conduct myself in business.”

It’s a point of view that may have resonated with Markle. She and Prince Harry requested that, in lieu of gifts, well-wishers donate to seven charities, including two environmental groups: Surfers Against Sewage and The Wilderness Foundation UK.

Judith Vonberg, CNN | Fiona Sinclair Scott, CNN

‘Third Wheel’ Best Man Hijacks His Best Friend’s Wedding Photoshoot, And It’s Hilarious

Saturday , 1, June 2019 Comments Off on ‘Third Wheel’ Best Man Hijacks His Best Friend’s Wedding Photoshoot, And It’s Hilarious

By taking their vows, newlyweds start a new chapter in their lives, and this often means their friends and family have to adjust to the new relationship dynamic. This, however, can sometimes become a mission impossible for those closest to the couple. Especially their single best friends who can start to feel a bit left out of the love-fest. To prevent this, Brittney and Kody Frysinger invited Kody’s best friend and Best Man, Mitch Jolliff to join them in engagement and wedding photos, and the images turned out so hilariously, you’ll feel sorry you weren’t invited to the ceremony.


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The priceless “third wheel” photos were taken by Lindsey Berger of Country Roads Photography. “I thought, how fun would it be to do a follow-up and show everyone how Mitch was handling the wedding!” Berger told A Plus. “I explained to them what I wanted, and then Mitch just owned the photo! He just made my vision come to life in a way I never could have imagined, and I am so grateful for that!”

While Jolliff might look sad and angry in photos, according to Berger the mood at the photo shoot was actually very enjoyable and funny. “These kids are just so much fun to be around and they would do anything I asked of them. And those are best types of clients — people who do not take themselves too seriously, and know how to have a good time.”

Kody and Brittney Frysinger got married in Findlay, Ohio. Their romantic yet amusing “third wheel” shots have been shared over 150,000 times on Facebook, and we wish them the happiest-ever-after!

Brittney and Kody Frysinger invited Kody’s best friend and Best Man, Mitch Jolliff to join them for a wedding photoshoot

Image credits: Lindsey Berger

The hilarious ‘third wheel’ images perfectly capture Kody and Mitch’s bromance

Image credits: Lindsey Berger

Which started a really, really long time ago

Image credits: Lindsey Berger

Mitch seems like the perfect guy to be Kody’s Best Man

Image credits: Lindsey Berger

Image credits: Lindsey Berger

And even though Kody has just fully committed to the love of his life

Image credits: Lindsey Berger

We think their special bond is safe

Image credits: Lindsey Berger

Bishop Michael Curry’s full royal wedding address

Friday , 31, May 2019 Comments Off on Bishop Michael Curry’s full royal wedding address

Bishop Michael Curry, Episcopal Church’s first African-American leader, delivers a powerful address at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The Best Marriage Advice We’ve Ever Heard

Thursday , 30, May 2019 Comments Off on The Best Marriage Advice We’ve Ever Heard

When my wife, Ashley ,  and I got married 15 years ago, we were young and in love, but we were also pretty clueless (me especially)! Along the way, we’ve had so many people share wise advice and life experiences with us, which has helped guide our family through good times and hard times. Through the years, we’ve been collecting some of the best marriage advice others have shared with us (and some we had to learn through our own mistakes).
We have one powerful and practical marriage tip for every day of the month . Keep referring back to this list to give a daily dose of encouragement to your marriage. These 30 timeless truths have shaped our marriage ( #26 revolutionized how we communicate with each other )! If you’ll apply these 31 principles below to your relationship, it could make a life-changing difference in your marriage! These timeless truths have revolutionized our own relationship and they could do the same for you.
In no particular order:
1. Choose to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not just a feeling.
2. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling, and when possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse.
3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the “currency of relationships” so consistently invest time into your marriage. There are no shortcuts. Building a strong marriage takes time.
4. Your friends will impact your marriage, so choose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage and remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character.
5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in the hard times, find reasons to laugh.
6. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.” You are partners in everything so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution.
7. Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.
8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it!
9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50-50, divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It’s not splitting everything in half, but both partners giving everything they’ve got!
10. Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else.
11. Speak lovingly and respectfully to each other. Your words matter, but the tone of those words matters too. The tone of your words can set the tone for your entire marriage.
12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage.
13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy.
14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust and trust is the foundation of a strong marriage.
15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”