Is this reality TV show making light of marriage?

If you’ve been following Channel 9’s reality TV show, Married at First Sight, you might remember the show’s first same-sex

If you’ve been following Channel 9’s reality TV show, Married at First Sight, you might remember the show’s first same-sex wedding occurred this week.

And in it’s wake a world of controversy has ignited.

If you’ve never watched it, Married at First Sight is exactly as the title suggests. Two strangers meet for the first time on their ‘wedding’ day after being matched by experts. While their ‘wedding’ isn’t a legally binding marriage, it serves as a commitment ceremony. The couples live together for a month and then choose whether to continue the relationship or not.

For the viewer it’s supposed to be as entertaining as reality TV shows can be. But advocates for same-sex marriage in Australia are far from amused.

When Channel 9 announced a same-sex couple would feature on the show earlier this year, same-sex marriage supporters lashed out.

Dr Kerryn Phelps slammed the show on social media, describing it as “a bloody insult”.

“What a bloody insult to those of us in committed long term same sex marriages who are not recognised under Australian law,” she wrote.

The founder of lobby group Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome echoed her comments, describing TV shows such as Married at First Sight as demonstrating a ‘double standard’.

“Many Australian same-sex partners feel it’s a double standard that strangers can tie the knot on TV shows but we can’t marry even if we’ve been together for decades,” he told Daily Mail Australia.

The airing of the episode has fallen during a time when Australian politics is focusing on the battle between a $160m national vote (a plebiscite) on same-sex marriage or the Opposition’s alternative, a vote in parliament.

Read more: What’s wrong with a plebiscite on same-sex marriage?

You might be wondering, what do the couple at the centre of the controversy, Craig and Andy, think?

The pair have spoken out in the media this week, with Craig telling the Sydney Morning Herald he was very disappointed by the reaction from the LGBT community.

“There’s been a lot of negative comments about us setting the movement back. It’s a gay wedding on Australian television – they should be rejoicing, not hating on us for doing it,” he said.

He described how his motives for going on Married at First Sight were personal, not political.

“I didn’t do it for marriage equality, I didn’t do it to be on TV. I did it to meet the man of my dreams,” he said.

Andy agreed, adding that he was “in favour of marriage equality, of course”.

He also told the Today show that he “signed up for an experiment that was about two people being matched together” and “didn’t want to get married.”

Craig insists their role in the show won’t set back the same-sex marriage debate.

Instead, he believes their ‘wedding’ is a step-forward.

“It’s going to put it out to the masses, to make a lot of people more aware of gay marriage and how important it is that we have equal right,” he said.

What do you think? Does Craig and Andy’s ‘wedding’ on Married at First Sight ‘cheapen’ the same-sex marriage debate? Or is it an overreaction to a TV show?

  1. Alec McCracken  

    This show is stupid. It’s not only a “bloody insult” as Phelps says, to homosexuals, but to marriage in general.

  2. maria  

    For goodness sake, what the hell is wrong with this society? Karen Phelps this is really so ridiculous your outrageous statements do more harm than this reality show. I watched the show and thought how great it was for same sex couples to be involved without discrimination. If these two find love then they will work it out. Your outrage was an insult to them.

  3. John  

    Insult, not only to same sex marriage advocates, and traditional marriage advocates; but an insult to our collective intelligence. As is all “reality” television.

  4. Fran  

    It was cringe worthy. This couple set back the gay cause groping each other and inappropriate comments which the heterosexual couples did not do. Crass to say the least. The show is at best the same intelligence level of big brother. But this gay couple displayed behaviour which is how gays are viewed

  5. If i remember rightly only one of the couple was groping, and that was the one having a hissy fit because he couldn’t find his vows . He was the o ne who couldn’t wait for the camera to be turned off at the wedding night. He seemed like he was in for the kill. The other one said he would prefer to take it slowly which is his choice.

    • Margaret  

      I agree with you Kim. The groping guy looks like he will keep having hissy fits if he doesn’t get his own way. Don’t think this couple will last long together.

  6. stoney Ascension  

    It,s a fake show with Fake marriages & fake people all making money & notoriety for their own selfish wants. A bad show for unfulfilled people to watch. especially those who need to get their glutes off the lounge & get a life.

    • Raelene Smith  

      IF you all find this particular show offensive. ……dont watch it. Simple.

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