Australia’s marriage equality debate has been thrown into turmoil after a woman who has lived in a partnership for more than two decades was given a divorce.
Jennifer and James were married in 2012, but the couple were not allowed to live together as a married couple in Australia.
They had been married for 17 years, but it was a very, a very sweet and very gentle person who did it for us.
She is a good person.
She was a good neighbour, she is a great person and she does a lot for us.
But we are not going to be making any further comments on this matter.””
We have been through a hellish process of trying to figure out how to reconcile our lives as a couple, and I am very grateful to all the support that I have had from the Australian community,” he said.
“But we are not going to be making any further comments on this matter.”
James and Jennifer, who were in a relationship for more years than 17 years and have lived in the same suburb of Adelaide, had been together for more or less a year before the Supreme Court of Australia struck down a section of marriage laws that prevented couples from living together as married couples.
The court ruled that the laws discriminated against gay couples.
James and the couple have now appealed to the Federal Court, arguing that they were treated unequally by the law.
The couple are seeking a judicial review, arguing the section of the laws was not discriminatory.
“They were both married and we have been married together for 17-years and we’ve never had a problem,” Jennifer said.
The couple have lived together in the Adelaide suburb of Epping for more of the past three decades, and have three children.
In a joint statement, they said they were “saddened and heartbroken” by the court’s decision and “we have no further comment at this time”.
“It is not the marriage that has ended, it is the family that has been shattered,” the statement continued.
We are happy to move on from this very difficult period in our lives.”ABC/Reuters