Australian politician to marry gay partner in Spain

An Australian politician and his boyfriend are getting married in Spain Wednesday after flying halfway round the world to take advantage of the country's gay marriage laws, they told AFP.

Ian Hunter, social inclusion minister in the state government of South Australia, and his partner of 22 years Leith Semmens, have come from Adelaide to tie the knot in Jun, a small Spanish town near Granada.

Australian lawmakers have rejected efforts over recent months to legalise same-sex marriages. Spain has allowed such marriages since 2005, though cases of two foreigners coming to Spain to marry remain rare.

"We're not getting married because of any political campaign. We're getting married to express our love for each other, as our friends can do back home," Hunter, 52, told AFP by telephone as he and Semmens, 42, prepared for the ceremony.

"It's about being finally able to express my love in front of the people who are important to me."

Seventeen family members and friends from Australia came to Spain to witness the wedding in Jun's Pabellon de Las Artes, an arts venue inspired by Andalusia's Arab-era architecture.

Jun's mayor Jose Antonio Rodriguez Salas -- a vocal supporter of the right to gay marriage -- helped the couple settle the complicated paperwork necessary to marry in Spain.

Rodriguez told AFP that since 2005 he had carried out the ceremony for many gay couples, but this was the first time he had done so for one of which both members were from overseas.

The leader of Spain's main gay rights group FELTGB Boti Garci Rodrigo said: "I find it moving and charged with significance" that an Australian gay couple had come to marry in Spain.

"It can allow them to enjoy the happiness of getting married legitimately under the law," she said. "And it is charged with significance because this marriage should be made valid in all countries."

Spain's constitutional court last month upheld the country's gay marriage law, throwing out a long-standing appeal by the governing Popular Party which is now in government. The party had contested the use of the word "marriage" for same-sex unions.

Same-sex marriages are fully legal in 10 countries including Canada and South Africa, and are allowed in some parts of the United States and Mexico. Similar legislation is pending in France and Britain.

"I am absolutely confident that Australia will change its laws in the next six or seven years," Hunter said.

"I know I'm on the right side of history with this and I'm not that fussed if Australia takes a little longer to get there."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea
    US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after having his face and arm slashed by a knife-wielding activist in an attack applauded by North Korean state media. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which saw the ambassador rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of surgery that included 80 stitches to a deep gash on his right cheek. During the assault, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of …

  • Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile
    Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago believes granting Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile house arrest, while former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains under hospital detention, will violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. “That’s already a violation of the equal protection of the law,” she said. …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • 8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study
    8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study

    Eight of 10 world cities most exposed to natural hazards are in the Philippines and more than half of the 100 cities most exposed to earthquakes, storms and other disasters are in four Asian nations, according to a research. The study, published on Wednesday by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, analyzed the threat posed by storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcanoes and landslides in more than 1,300 cities. The study found that the 10 cities most at risk are Port Vila in …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

  • Ex-crew recognizes photos of sunken Japanese battleship
    Ex-crew recognizes photos of sunken Japanese battleship

    TOKYO (AP) — A former crewmember on a Japanese battleship that sank during World War II said Thursday he recognized photos of wreckage discovered this week off the Philippines by a team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options