Australia’s first same-sex marriage cut short by terminal illness after just 48 days

Jasmine Andersson March 7, 2018
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The first same-sex couple to be married in Australia were married for 48 days after one of the partners died of a terminal illness.

Unbeknownst to a series of couples who were married at midnight when Australia’s same-sex marriage bill was passed, Jill Kindt and Jo Grant were granted a special license to get married just six days after marital registrations came into effect, reports ABC News.

This was due to the fact that Grant was suffering from a rare form of terminal cancer.

“I know there are other couples that were married that weekend, and for different reasons. They are among the first … and the reason we did is a tremendously sad one, and I’d trade everything for not having to stand here and talk about this story,” said Queensland’s parliament by state Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: People in the crowd celebrate as the result is announced during the Official Melbourne Postal Survey Result Announcement at the State Library of Victoria on November 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians have voted for marriage laws to be changed to allow same-sex marriage, with the Yes vote defeating No. Despite the Yes victory, the outcome of Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is not binding, and the process to change current laws will move to the Australian Parliament in Canberra. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

“I am honoured to reveal today that on December the 15th last year, despite what you may have seen reported in the media, Australia’s first same-sex marriage was in fact actually held in Queensland,” added D’Ath.

Married among friends in their own back garden in Queensland, the pair celebrated 48 days together before Grant sadly passed away on 30 January, 2018.

“Jo and I got to be legally married for 48 days – I’ll take that,” said Grant’s wife, Jill Kindt.

The pair were married six days after the registration for same-sex couples to marry came into effect.

The couple held a “promise day” in 2013 and said that they had been unofficially married since that time.

“We considered ourselves married, but in a legal sense we weren’t,” said Kindt to ABC News.

Some other couples were granted an early exemption to marry due to extenuating circumstances such as a terminal illness, although Kindt and Grant were the first.

“It’s a story of hope that reframes Queensland as a modern, trailblazing state which recognises equal rights and the most fundamental principle — that love is love,” said D’Ath.

More: Australia, Australia, human rights, same sex marriage

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