Two men made history as the first same-sex couple to get married on Sydney Harbour Bridge, in a dizzying display of love. Warren Orlandi and Pauly Phillips tied the know 134 meters above the harbour and overlooking the city, two days before Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
As the two made the grueling 1,000-step ascent, they were surprised with a live performance by singers from the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir who sang “Marry Me” and “Together Wherever We Go.”
Warren described how special the event was: “The Sydney Harbour Bridge is truly special to us. We are incredibly humbled to be standing here as the first husband and husband married at its summit, representing a community who have traveled their own momentous journey for equality. Without their work, we would not be able to enjoy this day. Today’s journey of more than 1,000 steps is one chapter of a much bigger journey for us finding each other and this is an unforgettable moment in a very special place that we get to share with our loved ones.”
The bridge has a special meaning for Warren who more than four years and ten Climbs ago, when he weighed more than 800 lbs. He had looked up at people climbing the Bridge, something that was then inconceivable for him, and set a weight-loss goal that changed his life in more ways than he’d expected. He lost more 550 lbs through diet and exercise, reached his goal, the summit of the international icon, and wept with joy at his accomplishment. A new found self-confidence and enjoyment of life prompted a series of fortunate events leading him to meet his now husband Pauly, a fellow weight loss victor and to come out at 47 years of age.