Photo: Lauren Price Facebook
Crack the champagne and pass the confetti, the first legal same-sex wedding under Australia’s new marriage equality laws will be held this Saturday.
Due to the 30 day waiting period under Australian law, the first same-sex weddings were expected to begin on January 9 2018. However, lesbian couple Lauren Price, 31 and Amy Laker, 29 have been granted the right to hold their legally binding wedding ceremony this Saturday in Camden, NSW.
The couple had been planning to celebrate their love with a commitment ceremony on Saturday but received the special waiver to the required 30 day notice of intention to marry from the Registry Of Births, Deaths and Marriages in NSW.
Laker told the Daily Mail that it took about 10 minutes for the waiver decision to be made on financial grounds, as Lauren’s family from Wales had already paid to travel to Australia to attend the planned commitment ceremony.
“It was the longest ten minutes of our lives - our hands were so sweaty. When she came back in and said she had good news I just started crying,” Laker told the Daily Mail.
The brides will wear white and have a garden wedding with the reception held at the local pub. 65 guests will attend the nuptials.
Lesbian couple Stephanie Dyball, 30 and Megan Stapleton, 32 were also granted a waiver to the waiting period and will marry next Thursday in country Victoria.
“We took the evidence that my family had booked their flight from overseas back in about January-February, and we filled out all the forms and then they did say 'you know don't get your hopes up' so … to be honest our hopes weren't too high. But we were quite thrilled when they put it through," Dyball told the ABC.
The couple became engaged in 2012.
"We waited and waited and we got a bit tired of waiting and thought, we're not going to wait around any more for them to change the law, let's just have a wedding,” Dyball said.
Some of the reasons you may be granted a waiver to the waiting period are:
• You've spent a lot of money on your wedding and would lose that money if you waited a month
• You've taken up a job offer that means you need to move away for at least three months and you want to marry before you go
• You or a close relative has a serious illness that means the wedding needs to happen in less than a month
• A close relative or friend is in Australia but has a return ticket overseas within a month and you wish them to be at your wedding
A Perth woman has become the first person to apply for a divorce under the new marriage laws. The woman married her wife in 2015 at the Perth consulate of a European nation. The marriage broke down and the women found themselves unable to access the divorce system of the European country as neither of them was a resident of that country.
Earlier this year, the UN Human Rights Committee found that Australia was violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by failing to provide access to divorce proceedings for same-sex couples married overseas.
No word yet on whether this couple is planning to hold a ‘we're finally free to divorce' party.