A Darwin couple has made history with the Northern Territory’s first same-sex wedding.
Keith Edwards and Afham Janil had a low-key ceremony at the Darwin registry office on Monday, attended by a handful of friends.
Keith told the NT News it was a relief to be able to marry his partner legally in Australia.
“It has not made any difference in our relationship, but it is nice to be able to endorse how we feel about each other,” he said.
He said the couple had submitted the form giving their required one month’s notice but hadn’t planned an actual wedding until a few days ago.
“We thought we’d just have ourselves and two witnesses, we were even going to drag two people off the street,” he said.
“But then we thought it is a bit silly not having a party so we just organised that in the last few days.”
Keith said he and Afham met close to three years ago and got engaged three months into the relationship but before the marriage postal survey didn’t think of getting married.
He said they’d never encountered a negative reaction from being affectionate in public but it had been hard for him to shake the feeling that it could be frowned upon.
“We’ve been walking around Darwin, holding hands, hugging and no one has said anything negative. But you still feel like that perhaps you shouldn’t do that,” he said.
He said the historic legalisation of marriage equality last month made him feel more comfortable.
Meanwhile, Kris Stevens and Bizzi Mason are believed to be the first same-sex couple to marry in the regional New South Wales city of Dubbo.
The couple of 15 years tied the knot at the Dubbo Courthouse on Monday, the Daily Liberal reported.
The women shared a civil union ceremony in New Zealand in 2009, but to them receiving the Australian marriage certificate was a simple matter of equal rights.
“We made the commitment to one another a long time ago,” Ms Stevens said.
“This is about formalising it in Australia and gaining equality.
“No one can dispute superannuation. No one can can dispute you attending your partner in hospital. No one can dispute you making decisions in hospital.”