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This woman fulfilled her dying wish by marrying her same-sex partner

Joseph McCormick May 17, 2015
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With only weeks to live, a terminally ill Australian woman has fulfilled her dying wish by marrying her same-sex partner after travelling to New Zealand.

The Tasmanian couple, Sandra Yates, 57, and Lee Bransden, 75, got married on Saturday at Rotorua’s Mitai village yesterday.

Getting married to Yates was Bransden’s dying wish, as she has a lung disease, and expects only to live a few weeks more.

During the wedding, which took place in a glad surrounded by ferns, Maori warriors arrived by canoe, reports the Guardian.

The couple were unable to marry in Australia, as the law still bans same-sex marriage.

They were able to afford the trip to New Zealand after raising almost $10,000 in two days via a crowdsourcing campaign.

Writing after receiving the donations, Yates said: “We will use this inadequate word of ‘thank you’ to everyone who has supported us in our fabulous journey to become married. Thank you for all the beautiful wishes and generous donations enabling us to succeed in our destiny to be wed.”

“It’s been the most wonderful day of my life. I am married to the most wonderful woman. This should have happened in Australia. For any other Aussies wanting to be married, I can highly recommend the beautiful people of New Zealand,” added Brandsen.

Yates also said Australia needed to get with the times on marriage equality, saying: “We are supposed to be a leading-edge country. We really are not that advanced.”

Australia currently bans same-sex marriage, despite a public majority in favour, and measures to legalise it have failed as recently as last year.

Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott remains a strong opponent of same-sex marriage, though he has faced pressure to allow a free vote on the issue.



More: Australia, Australia, Tasmania, terminal illness

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