The “honorary grandfathers” of New Zealand’s gay community have celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Civil Union legislation by getting legally married.
Des Smith and John Joliff fought for homosexual law reform 30 years ago when they first met and in 2005 they took part in New Zealand’s first civil union.
Now they’re married, 10 years later to the day.
“We have always felt that civil unions was a compromise concept,” Mr Jolliff said. “But it was the best on offer at the time.”
Last week’s wedding was an important symbol of the couple’s long battle for equality.
“It’s basically saying that Des and I have a legal relationship that’s the equivalent to everybody else,” Mr Jolliff said.
“In some ways it’s the end of a journey that started many, many moons ago, but we’ve made it.”
Mr Smith said it was a celebration of human rights in New Zealand.
A honeymoon in “gay Paree” – Paris – is planned and they are looking forward to filling in travel forms declaring their married status.
“We are going overseas for our honeymoon, so when they ask on the form, ‘Are you married?’ We can put yes,” Mr Smith said.