A WOMAN and her pregnant partner have made headlines after becoming the first same-sex couple in Australia to tie the knot under the new legally binding Evermore Pledge in a fairytale ceremony on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Carly Naughton, 31, and her partner Alee Fogarty, 28, now have the same legal rights as a traditional husband and wife after the couple took the Pledge in Surfers Paradise on Saturday, July 1.
With same-sex marriage still illegal in Australia, the Evermore Pledge provides an interim legal solution for gay and lesbian couples by replicating the same rights assumed in the 1961 Marriage Act.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
The Pledge is the brainchild of Gold Coast celebrant Michelle Anderson and mirrors the same legal and financial components as a traditional marriage, such as power of attorney, next of kin, assets, investments, and beneficiaries.
Ms Anderson said while the Pledge was not the solution to gay marriage, it was an interim measure allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally gain the same rights as their straight friends.
Newlyweds Ms Naughton and Ms Fogarty – who first met in 2015 – were the first same-sex couple in Australia to take the Pledge and say it has enabled them to plan for and secure their future.
“Our day was more perfect than we could have imagined,” Ms Naughton said. “We truly hope that we have inspired others to take The Evermore Pledge and solidify their love and secure their future.”
The brides proclaimed their love for each other with personally written vows while surrounded by family and friends at an intimate wedding-like ceremony on the Beach View Deck at the Peppers Soul building.
The perfect pair made their way down the ‘aisle’ together with their almost two-year-old son Oakland, who was conceived through IVF, walking side-by-side as they followed a pathway paved with petals to the altar.
Ms Naughton donned a stunning white bridal gown complimented by a beautiful flower bouquet, while her partner Ms Foggarty suited up in black attire.
Similar to a traditional style wedding, the couple then completed the formalities, including the all important signing of the paperwork and cutting of the cake.
“Since the government isn’t keeping up with the rest of the world, it’s time we take control of our own futures,” Ms Naughton said.
“Who we love is not a matter for the government or the church. Love is love and that should be all the matters.”
Ms Naughton, who is pregnant with her second child through IVF with the same donor, said her and Alee have always dreamed of having a big family.
The couple’s first child, Oakland, will celebrate his second birthday next month.
Written up and packaged together by private law firm Nevile and Co. Commercial Lawyers, Ms Anderson said the Evermore Pledge was the closest members of the LGBTI community could get to marriage in Australia until the government caught up with the rest of the world and made it legal.
“I’ll point out to the traditionalists that the sky didn’t fall down and their own marriage didn’t change overnight because two women decided to take control of their lives and their future,” Ms Anderson said.
“Until marriage equality is embraced by the Australian Government, this is the way for couples to find the legal and financial protection they seek.”
For more information on the Evermore Pledge, click here.