Australia’s first same gender marriage ended in heartbreak

Marriages between people of the same gender became legal in early January leading to a rush of wedding ceremonies, but a few couples were given permission to wed earlier due to extenuating circumstances.

Now in the Queensland parliament it’s been revealed that the first same gender couple to marry in Australia faced heartache just a few weeks later.

Queenslanders Jill Kindt and Jo Grant were married on December 15th, but tragically Jo passed away just a few weeks later, when she lost her battle against cancer.

Queensland’s Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath revealed in parliament yesterday that the wedding had in fact been the first of it’s kind in Australia. At the request of the family it had not been publicly announced until now.

The couple’s celebrant Kari, from Kari Celebrations, thought the couple had a good chance of getting approval for an early wedding and submitted an application to the court. They got a positive response after just one hour.

Photographer Marion Jonkers took up the challenge of capturing the couple’s wedding ceremony at short notice and provided her services free of charge.

The couple were married in their back garden, and a requirement that the marriage certificate to filed on the same day saw a representative of the court meeting Kari at a roadhouse to exchange paperwork.

The couple, who have been together for years, were sadly only married for six weeks as Jo passed away on January 30th.

Speaking in the Queensland parliament Yvette D’Arth said the couple had a great love story.

“The photos of their wedding day are very special,” D’Ath said.

“Jo was very frail but you see the love between these two people and in one shot Jo’s arms raised triumphantly as she and Jill laugh.

“Jo’s mum Sandra believes the marriage renewed Jo’s spirit, keeping her alive long enough to have one last Christmas with her family,” she said.

D’Arth revealed that since the laws were changed, 159 same gender couples have been wed in Queensland and another 70 couples have filed the paperwork to get married.

Jill Kindt was at parliament yesterday and spoke to the media saying that she was proud the Queensland was a now a place that embraced LGBTIQ couples.

“Queensland, we’re so often looked at as not being as progressive as other states, but we are,” Kindt said.

“We didn’t know if Jo would make it through that plebiscite. We were relieved Australians voted yes.”

OIP Staff: images: Marion Jonkers

h/t Channel Nine

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