Same-Sex Aussie Couples Overseas Are Getting Engaged After The ‘Yes’ Win

rupert noffs

Yesterday’s historic vote might have laid the path for same-sex marriage to finally, finally become legalised in Australia, but for some Aussie couples married overseas, that’s going to require a second ceremony.

Rupert Noffs, an Aussie living in New York City, told PEDESTRIAN.TV that he got engaged for a second time to his partner after the postal survey returned a resounding ‘yes’.

“It was extremely moving to watch,” he said of yesterday. “It was one of those things where it was bittersweet. What a waste of money and time… and so much hurt was thrown around during the campaign. It was just so gratifying to know that so many Aussies believe in human rights.”

He met his partner Matty, who’s from Manchester, in 2003 when they both worked on a P&O cruise ship in the UK.

“I brought him back to Australia after our contract finished and he became the Chef at Longrain in Surry Hills. We then moved to NYC in 2011 and opened our restaurant together last year.”

He said they only really got married at the advice of their attorney. “I always thought it was just a silly piece of paper, but when we found out about the tax breaks and health insurance, also being next of kin if something happens… it’s so important. It’s so much more than just a piece of paper.”

They got married in Central Park, NYC, in 2014 (same-sex marriage was legalised in the state of New York in 2011).

“We had the conversation in our attorney’s office. I looked at Matty and I said, “Should we?” And he said, “Sure…”. It wasn’t romantic at all. But then, when my parents came over, we went and bought rings and I proposed. I got down on one knee on a hotel balcony and gave him a ring. Matty was like “WTF are you doing? I already said yes?!”

They’re now planning on getting marred in Australia on New Year’s Eve. His dad is a marriage celebrant, and his granddad, Ted Noffs (founder of the Wayside Chapel) actually officiated the first same-sex ‘marriage’ in Australia in the 60s. “He was a reverend… a rebel reverend you could say,” says Rupert.

His granddad might have been a man of God, but Rupert wants no part of that to define his marriage. In fact, he’s not even all that keen on the ‘yes’ campaign’s argument that it’s all about love. For him, it’s about equal rights.

“A lot of people keep saying it’s about LOVE or it’s about GOD… it’s not,” he said. “I can love whomever I want. This is about having the same rights as everyone else. I’m not interested in hearing the barbaric words of the bible. If I was interested in the words of the bible and how marriage is between a man and a women, then we should be talking about bringing slavery back as well.”

Extremely hell yeah to that. Now, you just have to hope Turnbull can pass the same-sex marriage legislation without lawfully sanctioned discrimination against the LGBTQI community by Christmas. It’s a big ask for him, but maybe – JUST THIS ONCE – he’ll pull through. Fingers crossed, and all that.