As a champion player and acclaimed basketball coach, Carrie Graf knows a thing or two about how life can turn on big moments.
The mother-of-three watched at home in Ainslie as Australians learned of overwhelming support for same-sex marriage laws on Wednesday – quietly sending a text message to her partner Camille Chicheportiche, who was taking their seven-month-old for a walk.
“So, should we get married?”
Graf says she felt more emotional at the result than she’d expected.
“It was a wonderful, positive result and I think it speaks to the legal right for our family and our partnership as a couple to be recognised with respect and equality,” she said.
“I think they’re really important aspects for us in raising our kids, that they see that our family is one that has equal rights.”
Together the former Canberra Capitals coach and Chicheportiche are raising four-year-old twins Charli and Bentley, and seven-month-old Soli, meaning a future wedding remains some time off.
“Personally, my sexuality wasn’t part of who I was as a sporting professional and the only reason I came out publicly was because we’d had kids and I felt it was important for them to see that for us as their parents,” Graf said.
“To imagine that when they’re in high school it will not be an issue at all, and our family would be viewed as just like any other, be it a same-sex couple, a single parent family, a combined family, or one with children who are adopted.
“Diversity is a wonderful thing and I hope it will be quite normal for them as children of a same-sex couple.”
The seven-time championship-winner said Australia’s sporting organisations had played a key role in making the case for same-sex marriage during the heated public debate.
“Often people talk about the role of sporting organisations and political messages and I think it’s one of the powers of sport, that it can unite people and unite nations and help show they stand for something.
“Athletes, administrators and coaches in sport know there are people of the LGBTIQ community in all sports.
“I respected the organisations that took a stand to say they see equality for people that are part of their sports as an important issue.”
For now, the couple are keeping their excitement in-check and waiting for federal Parliament to seal the deal.
They celebrated at home on Wednesday night.
“In years gone by I’m sure we would have been down at Lonsdale Street or whatever, but for us, with our kids, it’s very much a family celebration now.”
“My mum arrived today from Melbourne so we’ll have a family ‘yes’ party tonight at home,” she said.
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