CANBERRA -- As debate rages over marriage equality inside Parliament House -- whether Australia will have a plebiscite or a parliamentary vote, when and how it will happen -- a quiet, poignant protest took place on the lawn outside.
Two women in white wedding dresses stood at the front of a bank of chairs. They held hands. They wore veils.
"We wanted to put across a symbolic demonstration. My partner and I love each other. We wanted to show that all love is equal. We wanted to show each relationship is valid," Jasmine Priddey, of Australian Progressives, told The Huffington Post.
While three different groups of politicians inside tried bringing on marriage equality bills that will inevitably fail due to the numbers in the parliament, and as the government remained steadfast in its commitment to a public vote on the issue, Priddey and her partner Tami held a "wedding" just outside.
"We had some people come up and ask about it, people congratulated us. We wanted it to be the wedding that never was, the wedding that wasn't. My partner and I are standing waiting for marriage equality and we will continue to do so," Priddey said.
"We have two classes of citizens, the class who can get married and the class who can't. The plebiscite is a waste of money and dangerous for the LGBTI community."
Priddey said the bills for a free vote on marriage equality in parliament were "fantastic" and said more high-profile demonstrations from marriage equality advocates were on the way. It is not the only marriage protest of the day, with Australian Marriage Equality activist group GetUp! planning to deliver a petition with almost 60,000 signatures supporting a free vote to the parliament on Monday afternoon.
"The queer community has said it doesn't want a plebiscite. As a last resort it will be taken but it's not preferable. This is a basic human right every person should be able to have," Priddey said.
"I can see more action by the end of the week. It's a hot topic and will continue to be a hot topic, so watch how much unity there will be on this issue, and see where this goes. This week is pretty exciting."