Five years ago Jo and Jill made Queensland history with their marriage


Queensland couple Jill and Jo Kindt marriage
Image: Marion Jonkers, courtesy of Jill Kindt

Before Queensland woman Jo Grant died of cancer, she was able to spend 48 days legally married to her wife Jill Kindt.

The couple married on December 15, 2017, five years ago this week, just a week after the federal parliament passed same-sex marriage.

Jo (above right) was terminally ill with a rare cancer of her appendix.

Because of her and longtime partner Jill’s circumstances, registry staff waived the usual 30-day waiting period for their marriage.

The couple were registered, approved and married in a single day, five years ago this week.

Jo passed away five weeks later, on January 30, after the 48-year-old spent one more Christmas with her wife and family.

Jill told ABC Brisbane this week that the couple earlier shared a “promise day” together in 2013.

The two women always considered themselves spouses after that ceremony.

But after encountering hurdles in the medical system, marrying under Australian law was important to the couple.

“Jo very much wanted it to happen, as I did,” Jill told the ABC.

The couple tied the knot five years ago in the garden of their Sunshine Coast home.

Queensland registry staff ‘moved heaven and earth’ to marry Jill and Jo in time

To make the wedding happen, registry staff were determined to deliver the marriage paperwork to the couple immediately.

A staff member met celebrant, Kari, halfway. At a roadside service station at Forest Glen, they delivered the paperwork to her.

Jill said she was “humbled” that staff “moved heaven and earth” behind the scenes to expedite the marriage.

“We were overwhelmed by the fact that people who didn’t know us made something that we wanted happen and gave up a whole heap of joy,” she said.

“I know there are other couples that were married that weekend, and for different reasons.

“The reason we did is a tremendously sad one.”

Jill said she’d “trade everything” to tell a different story but said, “Jo and I got to be legally married for 48 days. I’ll take that.”

Jo’s mum believed wedding ‘renewed her spirit for one last Christmas’

Then-Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath shared the Queensland women’s love story in state parliament in early 2018.

“This is a love story – of the deep bond between Jo Grant and Jill Kindt,” she said.

“This is also an inspiring story – of the extraordinary lengths our staff went to, to make this historic marriage happen before it was too late.

“The photos of their wedding day are very special,” she said.

“Jo was very frail, but you see the love between these two people… Jo’s mum, Sandra, believes the marriage renewed Jo’s spirit, keeping her alive along enough to have one last Christmas with her family.”

D’Ath said Queensland “recognises equal rights and the most fundamental principle – that love is love.”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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