Among the confusion over what might happen to the Australian Capital Territory’s civil union scheme last week, one couple ignored the political tug-of-war and ‘tied the knot’ in the rose gardens of Old Parliament House.

Warren McGaw, 41, and Chris Rumble, 38, made headlines by holding the first legally binding ceremony in the ACT, with civil celebrant Judy Aulich presiding.

“It feels fantastic,” McGaw told Southern Star last week.

“I absolutely feel complete now after being with Chris for 20 years. This is just the icing on the cake for me. We have equality now. We’re still fighting for our rights slowly but surely, but we feel it’s a really strong step in the right direction.”

McGaw, a fitness instructor, said he hopes other gay and lesbian couples will be able follow their lead.

“We were lucky were were in discussions with Judy about a ceremony for the end of the year, and we filled out the paperwork and we were first cab off the rank,” McGaw said.

“We thought what an opportunity for the gay community and lesbian community to stand up for a simple human right and respect and equality.”

McGaw said he felt his union with Rumble, despite any changes to the law, will remain.

“At this stage our legally binding same-sex civil union will stand as is, under the law, written on that day. We don’t think they can overturn it.”

The pair is planning another ‘big day’ in December with family and friends and will then honeymoon in Paris staying in a hotel overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

“We don’t do things by halves,” McGaw laughed.

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