Listen to 2UE interview
“Much discussion today about the marriage between Fred Nile and Silvana Nero, with the bride wearing the white wedding dress. Is it alright to wear white the second or third time around when you are getting married?”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports…
“If the headlines marking their wedding were to say, simply, ”Man marries woman,” it might please the Reverend Fred Nile and his bride Silvana Nero, and it might please their Lord.
The couple were perhaps less pleased when, across the road from their nuptials on Sunday, a small group staged a protest ceremony for which the headline might read: ”Man marries man-in-drag.”
In this mock marriage, bottle blond Brae Michaels married bottle blonde Viva la Bang. She was radiant in a traditional white gown, if not as dazzling as Nile’s younger bride, 55-year-old Nero, who wore an embroidered white dress.
Nile, the 79-year-old groom and Christian Democrat MP, came with subtle blond streaks in his hair. Only last month he declared he would celebrate the ”victory” of his stand against gay marriage – and his part in the defeat of a bill in the NSW upper house that might have allowed it – with his own wedding.
He welled up with tears as Nero approached the altar of St Thomas’ Anglican Church in North Sydney, where guests included O’Farrell government ministers Mike Baird, Greg Smith and Duncan Gay and Labor’s Luke Foley and Walt Secord, while the best man was upper house Liberal MP David Clarke.
The bridal procession had been preceded by the blowing of the shofar, biblical instruments honed from the horns of rams or other kosher animals. The protesters refrained, for now, from using their loudhailer. It would have been of no use against the crescendo of organ, trumpets, bagpipes, drums, the South Pacific Island Choir and rousing renditions of Shania Twain and Michael Buble songs that provided the soundtrack to Nile’s second wedding.
The celebrant Reverend Simon Manchester said it was important to Nile to have his family’s support. Two of his sons, David and Mark, did attend. But another son Steve and daughter Sharon chose not to.
In June, one of Nile’s children revealed they were ”hurt and angry” he was remarrying so soon after his 53-year marriage to Elaine ended with her death from cancer in October 2011. Four months later, Nile saw Nero at a Christian Democratic Party meeting.
It was ”love at first sight”, he said then. He acknowledged ”friction” with his children but said Elaine had wanted him to find a new wife. And he said Nero did not want to take their mother’s place and would retain her surname.
”She will not become the new Mrs Nile,” he said, and gushed about her ”beautiful legs” and how ”ravishing” she looked for their first date at a Monarchist League lunch.
On Sunday, the celebrant noted Nelson Mandela remarried in his 80s, making Nile a ”youngster in his 70s”. After exchanging vows, the youngster kissed his bride with such prolonged enthusiasm that Nero used a hanky to remove the lipstick smudge on his lips.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott sent them a message: ”Marriage is about walking the same path together. It is a profound, rich and fulfilling journey that should draw out the better angels of our nature.”
Viva la Bang would agree. She said Nile’s ”point of being against gay marriage is because the Bible says it’s between a man and a woman for the means of procreation”.
”Yet here’s a man, 70-something years old, marrying a woman of 55. Are they really going to procreate? So if they can get married, why can’t we?”
As the wedding party emerged, the protesters resorted to the loudhailer: ”Divorce the church from the state/Love is equal, don’t preach hate.” A woman returned fire with blasts from the shofar.
”I feel like going over there to thump one of them,” a wedding guest said. A man wearing a magenta jacket that would have blended just as well on the other side of the street, said: ”Stupid people. It’s a federal issue, not state. And it’s his wedding day … They’re dicks.”
Mark 10:12 “And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”