Main | Friday, June 27, 2014

AUSTRALIA: Gay Couple Legally Marries At British Consulate In Sydney

Gay Star News has the story:
From today British consulates around Australia are allowed to marry same-sex couples where at least one of the parties is a UK citizen. What is believed to be the first such marriage in Australia took place today around 3pm at the British consulate near Sydney’s Circular Quay and involved a Scottish Australian couple. Peter Fraser and Gordon Stevenson married wearing matching kilts in the Fraser clan tartan after 19 years together. The couple were declared married by the British Consular General who said performing the marriage was one of the highlights of his posting to Australia.
Australia does not recognize same-sex marriages regardless of where they were performed. Such marriages are now permitted at any British consulate in the world, with the provisos that one person must be a UK citizen and that the host nation does not object. More from the Guardian:
Fraser and Stevenson thanked the British government for giving same sex couples the opportunity to marry in their consulates around the world. “While I do feel so proud and really privileged to be the first of what I’m sure will be many couples here, I am also conscious that now we have left the consulate and gone outside, our marriage will not be recognised here under Australian law,” Fraser told media. “Gordon and I have waited 19 years for this day, I hope we do not wait much longer for our marriage and the marriage of all Australian couples who have gone overseas to get married… to soon be recognised here in the country we all call home.” He said he hoped that just as swiftly people could marry as they had done, surrounded by family and friends “but without the need to seek protection of the laws of another country.”
The couple appeared on an Australian chat show today before the ceremony.

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