Claire Worrall and Kelly Butcher from Canberra plan to get married after the ACT passed a same-sex marriage bill on Tuesday. Photo: Rohan Thomson
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At a Canberra club, four years ago, Kelly Butcher was “just doing some karaoke” when she met the love of her life.
Ms Butcher, with her partner Claire Worrall, was “a blubbering mess” on Tuesday as the ACT passed Australia’s first law for same-sex marriage.
It was perfect timing for the couple, who are expecting their perfect pair – twins, a boy and girl – in December.
“We’ve had our civil union, that was already a wedding in our eyes, but we’d like to take them along to the official one,” Ms Butcher said.
“This is a big step for the gay community.”
Same-sex couples, their families and supporters cheered and embraced as the Legislative Assembly approved the law, eight votes to seven.
Christopher Schmitt was among singers from the Canberra gay and lesbian choir that broke into song, John Paul Young’s Love Is In The Air, as the vote closed.
“I’ve been waiting a really long time,” Mr Schmitt said.
“I’m really happy I live in the ACT where we’re the first jurisdiction to legalise it.
“It’s an incredibly proud moment for me.”
Supporters spilled into the Assembly foyer, some waving rainbow banners with the words “thank you”.
Karen Walden, from Page, said she could now talk to her partner about their plans after what she described as “a very long engagement”.
“21 years I haven’t had the right to have this conversation,” she said.
“Now I have the right to make a decision about how I show my commitment legally.”