Australia’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage doesn’t mean wedding bells for all of the country’s gay couples.
Two women in Perth filed for divorce Sunday after a year of limbo. The couple, who remain anonymous for legal reasons, wed in 2015 at the embassy of a European nation in Australia. When they decided to split, they found they couldn’t get divorced in either country: The country that married them wouldn’t divorce them because they were not residents and Australia didn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
When the Parliament of Australia legalized gay marriage earlier this month after a postal vote surveyed the entire country, longtime couples got engaged by the dozens. One MP even proposed to his partner during a speech in Parliament.
This may not be the only divorce allowed by the new legislation. In 2015, a straight married couple in Australia said they would get divorced on principle if the country legalized gay marriage, as they didn’t recognize the state’s right to re-define the institution. They walked back their pledge after the vote in Parliament.
A lawyer for the woman who filed the divorce papers said “She is now very relieved. She has re-partnered and she just wants to get on with life.”
It might not be “‘till death do us part,” but it’s a happy ending nonetheless.