Same sex couples can now get 'married' in Australia thanks to Evermore Pledge, a celebrant service. Gay couples would have very similar rights to those in a traditional marriage. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography
Same sex couples can now get 'married' in Australia thanks to Evermore Pledge, a celebrant service. Gay couples would have very similar rights to those in a traditional marriage. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography

Same sex couple marry under 'Evermore Pledge'

A same-sex couple have been 'married' on the Gold Coast in an Australian first.

On Saturday Carly Naughton and Alee Fogarty were wed in a ceremony at Peppers Soul in Surfers Paradise, the first couple in the country to marry under the 'Evermore Pledge'.

The Evermore Pledge is a legal package which allows same-sex couples to address issues that married couples face such as power of attorney, next of kin, assets, investments and beneficiaries - all under the one umbrella.

 

Meet Mrs Naughton and Mrs Fogarty! Picture: Jerad Williams
Meet Mrs Naughton and Mrs Fogarty! Picture: Jerad Williams

It also includes a personalised lover's contract.

And while the pledge cannot be legally called a marriage under the Marriage Act, it is the closest thing same-sex couples could have to replicating a marriage, according to celebrant Michelle Anderson.

Ms Anderson said she came up with the pledge after debating with her partner, Greg, about why people wanted to get married.

Alee Fogarty and Carly Naughton with their son Oakland Naughton-Fogarty, 2. Picture: Jerad Williams
Alee Fogarty and Carly Naughton with their son Oakland Naughton-Fogarty, 2. Picture: Jerad Williams

"People want to be able to go to hospital when their partner is sick, or (are concerned) about superannuation.

"We've taken the government out of it ... we dissected the definition of marriage and put it back together."

Alee Fogarty and Carly Naughton were the first same sex couple to be ‘married’ in Australia. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography
Alee Fogarty and Carly Naughton were the first same sex couple to be ‘married’ in Australia. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography

For newlyweds Ms Naughton and Ms Fogarty, the legal package behind the marriage celebration meant they now felt more secure in their future.

"We've been engaged for ages and didn't think it would go further than that," Ms Naughton said.

The two women married on the rooftop at Peppers Soul in Surfers Paradise. Picture: Kaitin Maree Photography
The two women married on the rooftop at Peppers Soul in Surfers Paradise. Picture: Kaitin Maree Photography

"It was an empty promise to each other. (Marriage) is for people in love, but for us it's more than that. It's securing our futures, whether we're terminally ill, incapacitated or someone dies."

Ms Naughton said it was even more important now that they had Oakland, their 2 year old son through IVF.

She said there wasn't much paperwork involved in the pledge, but they did talk over the phone with lawyers who made them aware of their obligations.

The pair were ‘married’ on July 1 this year. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography
The pair were ‘married’ on July 1 this year. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography

Despite the step forward, Ms Naughton said she was angry there was still no marriage equality.

"I feel like a second-class citizen in my own country," she said.

Senior advocate David Dudderidge of Nevile and Co. Commercial Lawyers said they were excited to have played a part in bringing the Evermore Pledge to the gay and lesbian community.

"We're more than happy to be involved, it's always an important area," he said.

"It's an important issue that needs to be dealt with. Being gay and lesbian doesn't mean you need to be treated differently."

He said the pledge was not creating any legal rights that didn't already exist, but the services were packaged together so there would be a similar feeling to being married.

The Evermore Pledge cost ranges from $1999 to $6999 depending on the package.

News Corp Australia


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