After seven years together, NSW couple Lynne O’Brien and Caroline Marsh decided it was time to tie the knot.
Marsh is a British citizen and the pair were able to enter into a British civil union, despite their status not being recognised in the country they call home.
Australia currently does not recognise international civil unions or same-sex marriage under federal law.
In the states and territory offering relationship registration (Tasmania, Victoria and the ACT), ceremonial aspects are not considered legally binding.
After the civil ceremony at the British Consulate in Sydney, the couple held a celebration of union with friends and family with full bells and whistles, ceremony, cake, speeches, and a walk down the aisle.
The civil celebrant officiating took care not to use the word marriage during the proceedings.Marsh said she was taken aback by the great personal meaning of the ceremony, held in their home town of Robertson.
I will never underestimate the power of ceremony and the impact it has on relationships and on our relationship -” I get it now, she told Sydney Star Observer.
I was the blushing bride for days after and I never really expected to be. I speak quite well, but on the day I became quite clumsy in my speech and emotional.
Marsh, a lawyer, admits the ceremony was mostly a romantic declaration but was partly about exposing the inconsistencies in Australia’s laws on same-sex unions.
It’s a ridiculous issue of jurisdiction -” it’s ridiculous that in a building in George Street it’s legal and as soon as you step out it’s not.