Same-sex Aussie couple plan to marry in New Zealand
KRYSTAN Bird doesn't care what the government thinks.
She's getting married for herself, her partner, her family and her friends.
In March Miss Bird and her partner of more than two years, Jess Morrison, will travel to New Zealand to tie the knot.
The Mackay couple has been monitoring events in New Zealand closely, and after that country's parliament legalised same-sex marriage this week, the decision was made.
Miss Bird said it didn't matter that her New Zealand marriage wouldn't be recognised in Australia.
"To us it'll be legal," she said. "To our friends and family it will be legal, so that's all that matters to us."
The couple had already planned on travelling to New Zealand in March because a friend, who is heterosexual, was getting married.
With plans to spend about three weeks across the Tasman, Miss Bird estimates she'll spend several thousand dollars on the trip.
Greens candidate for Dawson Jonathon Dykyj said if Australia legalised same-sex marriage, it would be a boon for the Whitsundays region.
"The Whitsundays are a very popular marriage destination," he said.
"Our region is a great place for it. I got married here even. Certainly it would appeal to that market if it was legal."
But Dawson MP George Christensen said the debate was bigger than simply looking at the economic benefits.
"The issue (has) been put to bed," he said.
New South Wales Liberal Premier Barry O'Farrell has announced his support for same-sex marriage in the wake of New Zealand's decision.
But Mr Christensen said there was no need for Australia to follow the Kiwis.
"If the litmus test is if New Zealand does something we should do it then we should bring in drug testing for the dole because that is also something they've brought in this month."
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