Closer to wedded bliss
BEING the first gay couple to hold a civil union ceremony in Gympie is a proud moment for partners Ricky Klingsporn and Martin Steere.
The couple made headlines in December last year when they rejoiced in the Queensland Government's decision to pass a Civil Partnerships Bill, which meant they could have a commitment ceremony in their home town where their partnership is now recognised by law.
Today they will be "married" in a Monkland garden at a civil union ceremony.
The openly gay couple will still fight for the same rights as heterosexuals, but are happy with the progress.
They would prefer today's ceremony gave them the same status as a married couple, but until Australia passes same-sex marriage legislation a civil partnership will have to do.
"We wanted to have a nice ceremony. It's not nice to walk into an office and sign paperwork," Ricky said.
"This is a step in the right direction for equality," Martin added. "We are hoping this eventually leads to full equal rights for (gay) partners."
Ricky and Martin's civil union ceremony will be held at Martin's mother's property. Martin will wear a beige linen suit and have a matron of honour. Rick will be dressed in a similar black suit and will be flanked by a best woman.