Today my husband and I celebrate five years of marriage. After ten years together, it was time to put a ring on it and make it official. We had a civil partnership in Northern Ireland as it was still illegal for people of the same sex to be married then. Thankfully, it was made legal in 2020.
For us, marriage was about strengthening our commitment to each other, showing our love for each other to the world, providing security for each other and having that certainty that we would be seen as a couple in the eyes of the law. As we were moving to Australia, we wanted that security, for example, heaven forbid, if something happened to one of us. We also wanted to have a time of celebration with our families and friends, before we would leave Northern Ireland for a new chapter Down Under.
When we arrived in Australia the following month, we were surprised to discover that gay marriage was also not legal here. This was astounding as we know how gay friendly Australia is and Sydney hosts one of the biggest Mardi Gras festivals in the world.
On 9 December 2017, the right to marry in Australia was no longer based on sex or gender. This was amazing news and enabled us to be married officially. We had a small wedding service on our one year anniversary (four years ago today), just for us. We felt that we were married before but now it was official. We had a ceremony at one of our favourite beaches with an intimate collection of family and friends.