ACT chief minister Andrew Barr says the fact AFL Women’s superstar and Olympic medallist Erin Phillips’ marriage isn’t recognised in is shameful, but change is inevitable.
Phillips almost had a clean sweep of the inaugural AFLW awards, not only winning the premiership with the Adelaide Crows, but also claiming the Crows’ best and fairest, the AFLW’s best and fairest and the AFL Players’ Association most valuable player as well.
There was a moment when she was named the league’s best player that brought ‘s marriage laws into the spotlight.
Just like many Brownlow Medallists have, she kissed her wife in celebration.
But unlike those male footballers, Phillips and her wife Tracey Gahan’s marriage isn’t recognised in .
Barr’s one of ‘s few openly gay politicians and has long campaigned for marriage equality in , forming part of the ACT’s unsuccessful bid to legalise same-sex marriage in Canberra in 2013 only for the High Court to rule the laws unconstitutional less than a week later.
He said Phillips was an inspiration to ns with her achievements in the sporting arena.
Not only did she dominate the first AFLW season, but she’s also won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in basketball and still plays for the Dallas Wings in the WNBA.
While her USA marriage currently isn’t recognised Down Under, the chief minister was confident marriage equality would soon be part of n law.
“In Erin Phillips we have a perfect example of why marriage equality in is an inevitability,” Barr told Fairfax Media.
“Erin is an inspiration to all ns – the best women’s footy player in the country, a world-class basketballer, an Olympian and a mother, who just happens to be in with love a woman, Tracy Gahan.
“The fact Erin and Tracy are legally married in America, but not here, is shameful.
“Erin is like so many other ns denied marriage equality – she can contribute to the heart of this nation, but this nation won’t let her legally commit her heart to the one she loves.
“It is not fair and it will change.”