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Australian gay couple challenges court to recognize their Canadian marriage

Australian gay couple challenges court to recognize their Canadian marriage

In what is being described as a legal first, a Melbourne gay couple who were married in Canada are asking the Australian courts to recognize their union in Australia. Jason McCheyne and Adrian Tuazon, both Australian citizens, flew to Canada last month and exchanged wedding rings and vows in a civil ceremony at Toronto's city hall, The [Melbourne] Age reports. McCheyne, 33, and Tuazon, 30, are now preparing to mount a court challenge, probably in the Family Court, to have their same-sex marriage validated in their home country. The Brunswick couple, who identify themselves as Christians, say they are not "radical political activists." Until they met six years ago, neither had come out. "We see marriage as a lifetime commitment--just like everyone else," McCheyne told The Age. "We are a family now. We are very traditional in that sense." The couple, who plan to have children, say they want be considered equal to their heterosexual married friends. "We wanted to marry both as a statement to ourselves and to the community," Tuazon said. Australian law makes no provision for same-sex marriage. Prime Minister John Howard is strongly opposed to the idea, and ruling lawmakers have shelved an amendment to their party platform that would have given gay unions equal legal status to those of married heterosexual couples. Professor Regina Graycar, a family law expert at Sydney University, told The Age, "I wouldn't be so confident that a court would recognize such marriages, but I wouldn't rule it out."

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