A Ballarat couple have decided to keep their engagement ring despite the jeweler who made it labeling them as “disgusting.”
Janine Fleming and Jen McInerney shared a kiss last week at the announcement of the same-sex marriage survey results but their jeweler wasn’t impressed with their affection on the front cover of the The Courier.
When Ms Fleming and Ms McInerny’s moment of affection was shared on The Courier’s Facebook page, it attracted more than 100 comments from members of the public.
However, one comment in particular caught the couple’s attention.
The comment written below the image of the couple kissing read “Disgusting! Why show it!” (sic).
“There were a lot of comments that were on the whole very supportive and there was always going to be the ones that say awful things,” Ms Fleming said.
“A couple of the comments were nasty and personal; one of the comments said it was disgusting and it struck me as totally unnecessary and terrible and personal.”
Ms Fleming looked at the profile of the person who made the comment and realised it was the jeweler who made the couple’s engagement ring.
“At the time, when I went into to choose the ring, I told him who we were and that we were going overseas and was going to propose in Paris so he was well aware we are a same-sex couple.”
Dan Murnane from Meticulous Jewellery in Ballarat said his comment was not directed at the couple personally.
“I’ve got nothing against them and I didn’t vote against them, I just didn’t need to see on the front of the paper, I just looked and it and I thought ‘yuck’,” he said.
“It’s like a packet of smokes with a rotting foot on it, I don’t smoke and I don’t want to look at it.”
Mr Murnane denied he was homophobic and said he would have had the same reaction to a photo of an opposite-sex couple kissing.
“I have nothing against them personally and nothing against the gays, the whole kissing thing was a bit yuck.”
Ms Fleming said the couple thought about returning the ring but have since decided to keep it.
“Jen and I talked about it and our first reaction was we will return and ask for our money back, it felt tainted by that,” Ms Flimeing said.
“He doesn’t approve or doesn’t like our relationship, that's his prerogative; we decided the significance of the ring, the one I proposed to her with, what that meant at the time was really special to us.
“We feel that we have to rise above this, and what that ring means to us means so much more than his comment.”
Ms Fleming said Mr Murnane’s comment only serves to highlight his outdated attitude.
“I respect people’s right to have opinions but I don’t respect people being downright insulting,” she said.
“We are people just like anyone else and I am sure he wouldn’t like people commenting on his marriage or relationship.”