In the coming weeks, Australians will have the opportunity to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage in the postal plebiscite. At Temple & Webster, we support diversity in the workplace and recognise the rights of our LGBTIQ employees to live and work free of prejudice and discrimination and with all of the essential freedoms enjoyed by other members of our organisation and community. We are proud of our warm, inclusive team who bring their best and most passionate selves to work each day and empower their teammates to do the same, which includes supporting our LGBTIQ community. As the postal vote approaches, we wanted to share with you a little more about our CEO Mark Coulter and his Mum Margaret and why they support the yes vote.

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T&W CEO Mark Coulter and his Mum Margaret on Mark’s wedding day.

Margaret

Mark is my third child and youngest son.  I have four wonderful children, all so different – but I am so proud of them all.

When Mark first told me he was gay, I think I had known for a while. As a mother, you of course worry that your children are going to be safe and happy.

I was so honoured when Mark asked me to walk him down the aisle at his wedding in Greece last year. It was such a wonderful day, full of joy and happiness. Mark’s long term partner (now husband), Adam, is such a wonderful addition to the family. I know that with Adam, Mark is going to be ok, even when I’m no longer around.

It does make me sad to think Mark & Adam’s relationship is not on the same level as his brother’s, or as mine and my husband of 52 years. As a mother, I am going to be voting yes in the upcoming postal vote as I believe Mark deserves to be treated the same as his brother.

When Mark first told his Dad and I about starting Temple & Webster with his friends, we were (again) a little apprehensive. We were worried about Mark’s future, and whether he was doing the right thing giving up the good career path he was on.

Now I am so proud of what Mark and the team at Temple & Webster have achieved. I think I know the website better than he does!

Mark

Mum is definitely the one who gave me my love for the home. Although she doesn’t like to admit it, she has immaculate taste and her homes have always been on trend and beautiful. Thank you Mum!

Marrying Adam in Greece last year was such an incredible and life-changing experience, especially being surrounded by our friends and family. Even though we had been together for 14 years, the day after our wedding felt different. For whatever reason, we now feel like a “proper” unit – facing the future as a team.

I am lucky to say I have amazing and accepting parents. Being gay can sometimes be challenging – I often feel like a square peg in a round hole. Starting and now running a publicly listed company is one of those round holes! However Mum has always been there to support me and give me confidence, including regularly baking for the entire Temple & Webster team in the early days!

If I didn’t have parents and friends who accepted me as I am, who recognised my relationship with my partner of 14 years, and treated us as equals, I don’t think I would have had the courage to start Temple & Webster with my co-founders or run it today.

While marriage equality is foremost about love and the celebration of a union regardless of gender, for me it is a broader issue. It is about how gay people are seen by society and subsequently how they feel about themselves. As a business builder and CEO, I would love to give the message to the next generation of square pegs, that they are just as wanted as the round ones! I believe Australia can only be a happier and more productive place as a result.

Australian Marriage equality logos

See Temple & Webster’s formal letter of support for marriage equality and check out other businesses and organisations who support the cause at www.australianmarriageequality.org

37 Responses

  1. Martina Turnbull says:

    Hi Mark what a loving mother. My father died many years ago and my brother and I were raised by my very Italian mother. One day I happened to say to her what would you do if your son was gay . Her response – when I was young In Italy there were many gay boys who unfortunately, had to get married. If my son was gay I would love him Just as much as I love you and your brother and the only person he would have to marry is the person he loved. My verY special mother it’s a BIG YES FROM ME.

  2. Beverley Gleeson says:

    Very glad for you and your family,I also will be voting yes and am an 82 year old,you have a right to be able to say your partner is your next of kin,good luck🙏

  3. Katie says:

    I teared up a little when Margaret said Mark deserves to be treated the same as his brother. Because that’s what this vote is about: recognizing that someone’s brother, sister, daughter, son – any human being – deserves to be treated with dignity and respect by society and to know that they are equal. Beautiful words from a mother and son.

  4. Suzanne says:

    You are a beautiful loving family & all anybody wants is to be happy “Love is Love”

  5. I’m voting yes. Equality is for everyone

  6. Di Dunlop says:

    Hip hip hooray… let’s hope our country is sufficiently mature to take this step for equality for all

  7. Kerry Sollars says:

    Simply beautiful.

  8. Kerry Sollars says:

    Beautifully said.

  9. What a beautiful story .I have a very close friend who’s daughter-grew up with my children but never seemed happy until I said to her one day we love you for who you are . Our happiness has been rewarded by meeting her beautiful partner . SO MINE IS. A BIG YES
    Love and happiness .

  10. Cecilia Fresle says:

    You have put this so well. I have a gay daughter. We support both Alice and her partner Tamika. They are wonderful business people and a wonderful team.
    It saddens me that many people see gay marriage as a wedding day thing. It is so much more.
    It is the right to be each other’s next of kin. The right to the financial support of your partners superannuation if you lose them. The right to be equal.

  11. Jasmin says:

    Thanks for your sharing. I agree that everyone should be respected, no matter who they are. However, it is very naive to think that voting yes to same sex marriage is just about equality. I’ll be fooling myself that there won’t be negative consequences to this society if marriage was redefined. Kids will grow up with lots of confusion about sexual identities and family based on the messy definitions. When the LBGTI community say that they have been discriminated against, I feel it’s more the other way. See all the recent attacks by the Yes campaign advocates. Where’s the freedom of speech. The LBGTI community has already been protected in many ways and have rights to those who are not. It’s becoming that those who do not agree with same sex marriage will get abused. I’m even scared to leave my email here cos I don’t know if I’ll get abused later.

  12. Peter Burch says:

    A terrific piece – thanks Mum and Son!

  13. Stella Murray says:

    So sad to read this, because folk do not do their research on what voting YES means.even as grandma celebrating 57yrs of marriage with a beautiful grandson who is living with a guy and whom l love very much, but will definitely vote NO like our daughter and husband who dote on their son will be voting NO as they have done their homework and she too is in full agreement that if same sex couples want to be together that is their choice BUT call it something else NOT marriage,.Dig deep people before you vote as you will not be able to reverse your yes and when you honestly know the underlying implications if you vote Yes then you are fully responsible for your vote.

  14. Peter & Karen Wright says:

    Dear Margaret ❤️ Mark, thank you. Your letter brought me to tears. I’m deeply saddened and ashamed for all the pain we have inflicted on gay people for so long. I hope and pray that our country can overwhelmingly say yes and put this terrible injustice to rest.

  15. Beth Hill says:

    My son married David in London last year in a beautiful warm loving ceremony with family and friends I to also had the honour of walking him down the aisle. I have two sons and as their very proud mum want them to be treated equally with respect and dignity. I’m appalled at Australia’s attitude towards gay people, effectively they are telling me one of my sons is not as good as the other. Not ok in my world

  16. Jan Churches says:

    Vote YES for the Churches. We too, have much pride in our lovely gay daughter.

  17. Raewyn van der Walt says:

    I too, as an older supporter, had the privilage of attending the rally in Sydney today with family, extended family and friends, found the atmosphere and camaraderie uplifting and joyous.
    I am hopeful of a positive outcome for our gorgeous sons and daughters who have a fundamental right to marry and sanctify their union with the love of their choice.

  18. Helen Wilmore says:

    Dear Margaret & Mark, Thank you for sharing your story with us. Your personal story is truly heart touching and highlights the human right of equality so essential for everyone.
    I will be voting YES!
    Love the pic of you both….style +++…. just like Temple & Webster.
    Many thanks, Helen

  19. Judy says:

    It seems rather strange to me that other,people are voting to say yes or no to whether gay people can marry. For goodness sake it is surely a personal decision. Governments and other people..well as far as I am concerned it’s none of their business. I look forward to a day when all beings are treated,equal. God is ❤️ love and I’m sure the majority of people just want a loving, peaceful and caring society. From what I have seen themchildren of gay people have been extremely well adjusted and compassionate people.

  20. Brendan says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. This is fantastic support for the marriage equality cause. Well done. Lest hope many more businesses come on board and help get this done for all Australians.

  21. Donna Foster says:

    Mum Margaret, thanks for sharing your heartfelt story. My brother married his partner in NZ and it was the best wedding I ever went to… All about the celebration of love . Sadly Kevin died sadly just over a year later. But they did have a marriage, and we all got to share a special day. YES, is the only choice.
    P. S Love Temple & Webster…

  22. Dear Mark & Margaret: How wonderful to read a message such as yours and actually hear the true meaning behind the issue of same-sex marriage. I agree with your sentiments and wish there was less ignorance and intolerance within the debate. Recently, I heard one commentator explain that voting yes would not change anything for the heterosexual community, but would create positive changes for the gay community; acceptance, respect, equality and the freedom to choose. These basic human rights should be granted to all members of our society.

  23. Anne Dubois says:

    I’m sorry but I will be voting NO – actually I don’t see the reason to apologize. I don’t believe marriage is between two people of the same gender – it is and always will be for me between a man and a woman. A commitment ceremony YES, but not a marriage. I totally agree with what our Canning Liberal Politician Andrew Hastie stated recently about this issue.
    It almost appears as though heterosexuals appear to be in the minority. A friend of mine put forth a theory that she thinks it has something to do with the genes ‘changing’ in our society of today. I have nothing against the LGBT community – people have the right to make their own choices. The one and only thing I don’t like is the annual Mardi Gras in Sydney – I don’t see the need for display – equality is now part of life without the frivolity.

  24. Linda McClure says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us… I am really stoked you are using your influence Mark and I support the yes in all of this… its kinda stupid that this human rights issue is being put to a vote though… its a legal YES on all fronts… all the other countries that have marriage open to all human beings whatever their sex have not collapsed in ruin nor have families been exposed to a society that is falling apart because of it, in fact research shows that marriage is VERY GOOD for people… they live longer, generally have better lives etc etc… and things run smoother because of it…

  25. Josh says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! This postal survey has been very troubling and it’s great to see more and more stories of love to oppose the hate and vitriol I’m now seeing daily in social media and the news. Thanks Mark and Margaret! Now I’m gonna go buy a coffee table or a towel… or both. 🙂

  26. Lovely story Margaret and Mark. We have always maintained that if any of our 3 children had told us they were gay, it would have made no difference whatsoever to how much we love them – why would it? Our children are our children – loved unconditionally. We willmost definitely be voting YES to same sex marriage. Love should have no boundaries. And by the way Mark – I’m a huge T&W fan 😊!

  27. Terry Abordi says:

    Let us hope that people will all agree it’s time for equality. Of course that is a big ‘Yes’ from me. I am over 70 years of age so lived through the terrible period when LBGTIQ went through absolute hell trying to disguise their ‘differences’ and being bullied, scoffed at, even murdered. Thank God those days are, hopefully, over. Now it’s time to confirm that we ARE all equal. It’s wonderful to see your beautiful mother-son relationship. How difficult it must have been in those ‘old days’.

  28. Denise says:

    Great story of love and acceptance and the confidence that instilled. I will be voting yes

  29. Hear, hear! Beautifully stated by both Mark and his Mum. I am a round peg in a round hole but having many gay family members I can totally relate to what you say. It’s people that matter, not their sexual preferences, and everyone has a right to their own choice and should be treated equally in this choice.

  30. Jenny Nash says:

    As a mum of 1 I totally agree with your Mum. My son should have the same rights as his step siblings. My son and his wonderful partner deserve this right. So beautifully said and it is exactly what I would like to have written myself. I am so proud of the boys and so happy my son has his partner.
    Had enough of this debate, I deserve the right to attend my sons wedding, if this is their choice to have .. thank you Margaret and Mark.

  31. Lynda Hadlow says:

    All power to you – Mark you r one lucky guy – loving and supportive family & friends, the love of your life and a great business with obviously a great team behind you.
    A true aussie success story – and one that should receive more public recognition. Very happy to be a customer and will continue to be one.

  32. Tracey says:

    I loved reading the comments of Mark and his mother Margaret. I have two children, a daughter who is married and a son, who is gay, and I would love for him to be able to marry as his sister has, if he chooses. One day soon I hope we will all be equal.

  33. Mary-Anne Vos says:

    Lovely to read your story, and fingers crossed for a positive result in coming weeks. I have many gay friends, although to me they are simply friends, with no other “tag”. I hope for them, and for all Australians, that common sense prevails.

  34. jayne Cunningham says:

    What a Mum. Your strength as apparent is inspirational

  35. jayne Cunningham says:

    What a Mum. Your strength as a parent is inspirational.

  36. Beautiful story – well done!

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