Two men officially became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Australia on Friday, June 27, 2014.
The only catch was, as soon as they stepped outside the British consulate in Sydney where the ceremony took place, their partnership was not recognised under Australian law.
One half of the history-making couple said despite being the first to marry abroad under new British marriage equality legislation, he and his husband were simply trying to adhere to tradition.
‘Far from trying to break down marriage we are trying to join it. We’re trying to join that tradition,’ Gordon Stevenson, 61, said after the ceremony.
In March same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales, and the marriage equality laws are now extended to 24 other countries, including Australia.
Couples can wed if at least one of them holds a British citizenship, which is why Gordon Stevenson and Peter Fraser were married within the walls of the consulate.
Mr Fraser and Mr Stevenson both hold dual British-Australian citizenships and have lived Down Under for 19 years, but both donned traditional Highland dress for the wedding in a reference to their their Scottish heritage.
Peter Fraser revealed that though he was proud to be half of the first couple to marry in a UK consulate worldwide, he hopes it wont be long until his marriage is properly recognised in his home country.
‘While I do feel so proud and really privileged to be the first in what I’m sure will be many couples here, I am also conscious that now we’ve left the consulate and gone outside our marriage will not be recognised here, under Australian law,’ he said.
‘I hope soon also that all Australians will be able to marry the person that they love here in Australia with their family and friends around us as we have done, but without the need to seek to protection of the laws of another country.’
Despite not wanting to politicise his big day too much, Mr Stevenson urged the Prime Minister to take the lead from other nations and think back to his own wedding day ‘and all the joy and love’ that he and his wife experienced.
‘And then I would ask him, would you not also want that for us… And for everybody that wants to be married, regardless.