A Toast to the Groom and Groom

4 January 2008

Tomorrow (Saturday) a friend of mine, Ian, is getting married.  To another man.  In a legal ceremony.  In Australia!   The land where the marriage regulations were changed two years ago so that they now specifically state that the two parties in a marriage must be of opposite sexes. 

But Ian and Sam are both British and apparently can marry at the British High Commission under British law.  And as Australia is obliged to recognise marriages that take place in Britain, I believe they will be considered married for all legal purposes in Australia. 

Will the sky fall in?  Will we all go to Hell in a handbasket?  Will it affect the heterosexual life of me, my husband, neighbours or (straight) friends?  Of course not. 

Maybe with a new Government in Australia we have a chance to change these ridiculous regulations.  Or maybe not.  Our previous PM said that marriage between two people of the same sex would not be valid because children couldn’t be produced.  On that basis my own marriage would be invalid, but nobody insisted I had a fertility test before I could tie the knot. 

I don’t expect the law to change any time soon in Oz, but here’s hoping commonsense will prevail.  In the meantime, very best wishes to Ian and Sam for a long and happy marriage. 


  1. Congratulations to Ian and Sam!

    I was approached yesterday about doing a commitment ceremony for a same sex couple, and it infuriates me that because they aren’t heterosexual, even their commitment ceremony has to follow certain rules. If I do the ceremony, I can’t use the word marriage, and I also have to clearly state that the ceremony is not legally binding. Not only can they not get married – I have to explicitly rub it in during the ceremony.

    The government in this country is an arse.

  2. I’m not absolutely certain, but I don’t think that their marriage will be recognised in Aus (outside the UK HC!). Although marriages conducted out of Aus are generally recognised as valid in Aus, I think that there is an exception clause for marriages that can’t be legally contracted here (eg same-sex or polygamous marriages). I hope I’m wrong.

  3. We’re going to a similar thing in Feb at the HC. bet Aus can get out of recognising it, because in fact it isn’t recognised as a MARRIAGE in UK, but is explicitly different.

    Oh well. At least they could do it, and I can tell you I had no probs getting a formal working visa here as Clare’s dependent – I gather that’s new over the last year or so – so perhaps things are moving?

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