Let the weddings begin, same sex marriages become a reality

Following the passing of Senator Dean Smith’s private members’ bill last month the long fight to change the nation’s marriage laws was over, and many couples have wasted no time in saying their vows.

A few couples had been given permission to wed earlier due to extenuating circumstances, but for most a one month statutory waiting period applied.

On January 9th veteran LGBTI rights advocates Sam and Kelly Pilgrim Byrne stood on the steps of parliament house, surrounded by friends and family who counted down the seconds to midnight.

As the clock struck twelve, their wedding ceremony commenced. With their ten year old daughter standing between them, the couple, who have been together for 24 years, made a their lifetime commitment. Their local MP Terry Healy acted as their celebrant.  

When Healy read out the new description of marriage as a union between two people there were wild cheers and applause from the large crowd who had gathered.

Speaking to ABC Radio Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne said it was extraordinary to stand on the steps of parliament and look out onto the group of friends who came to celebrate their marriage.

The couple have been long term advocates in many battles for LGBTI rights including the 2002 law reform packages that equalized the age of consent in Western Australia.

Over at the Court Hotel Gillian Brady and Lisa Goldsmith said their marriage vows in another midnight wedding ceremony.

While OUTinPerth contributor Bella Broadway and her partner Alyssa Gilchrist waited until mid afternoon to have their ceremony which was hosted by Famous Sharron and filmed by the ABC’s 7:30.

OIP Staff, images  Richard Huynh from Albedo Photography.

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