South Australian MP Ian Hunter said he’s excited and overwhelmed to become the first Australian politician from a major party to marry his same-sex partner overseas next week.
Hunter will wed his long-term partner Leith Semmens in Spain, becoming only the second Australian politician to have married their same-sex partner after NSW MP Alex Greenwich.
Hunter became the Communities and Social Inclusion Minister for the South Australian government in October 2011 but has been a long-time vocal LGBTI rights advocate.
“Naturally I am excited and a little overwhelmed by it all, but am looking forward to finally expressing my love for my partner and vowing to support each other in our marriage before our parents and friends,” Hunter said.
“I firmly believe that Australia will have marriage equality within the next seven years or so, but I am not prepared to wait around for that to happen.
“New York had to raise the matter in their state Parliament three times before it succeeded, and I feel we in Australia will have to do the same.”
Hunter, who said he was going to co-sponsor a state-based gay marriage bill in the South Australian Parliament, also said he was doubtful marriage equality supporters would find the necessary numbers to pass it in the Lower House.
He said his preference was still one national law but he would support the state bill in order to keep the conversation about same-sex marriage alive.