Australian women’s cricket team vice-captain Alex Blackwell will marry English cricketer Lynsey Askew after the upcoming Ashes series.
The couple, who have been in a relationship for seven years, will marry in front of their families and friends in England on September 3.
“We’re really excited about the future,” Blackwell told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“For Lynsey and I to make this commitment is special, and while no one knows what the future holds, to have that strong foundation (of marriage) will only allow for our relationship to blossom even further.”
Blackwell, 31, expressed regret that it was illegal for same-sex couples to get married in Australia.
“It disappoints me that it’s not a reality for us in Australia, but things are moving very quickly, and hopefully by the time we get home it’s recognised,” she said from England.
Blackwell said recognition for same-sex marriages in Australia would bring to an end many people feeling as though they were not considered equal members of society.
“It’s something I’ve thought about as an issue for many, many years,” she said.
“Even as a young person, when I didn’t believe marriage was important to me … what I did know as a young person was marriage inequality sent a message that you’re not quite good enough, you’re not quite equal to others.
“That message from society … that you don’t quite deserve the same rights … sends a very dangerous message to young gay people coming to grips with their own sexuality at a difficult time of their lives.”
Blackwell was in Britain in May when Ireland voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriage.
“That was exciting, and it had such an impact in Australia there are questions being asked: ‘why are we lagging behind on this issue?’”
Blackwell is only the second international cricketer to come out as gay at the height of their career – the other was English wicketkeeper Steve Davies.
(Picture courtesy of ABC)