Moree marriage celebrant Patricia Hadley welcomes news of same sex marriage being legalised in Australia

Patricia Hadley is a registered marriage and civil celebrant based in Narrabri and services the Narrabri, Wee Waa, Bingara, Moree, Gunnedah, Boggabri, Coonabarabran and Tamworth areas.

Patricia Hadley is a registered marriage and civil celebrant based in Narrabri and services the Narrabri, Wee Waa, Bingara, Moree, Gunnedah, Boggabri, Coonabarabran and Tamworth areas.

Up until now, local marriage celebrant Patricia Hadley has kept quiet about her views on same-sex marriage.

But since the historic same-sex marriage bill was passed in parliament on Thursday, Ms Hadley can finally say how thrilled she is of the decision.

“I’m really ecstatic,” she told The Moree Champion on Friday.

“My daughter’s marriage is now recognised in Australia from midnight tonight [Friday].”

Ms Hadley’s daughter Lee-Ann and her partner Michelle were married in Queenstown, New Zealand in May last year.

“It was beautiful but if they were able to get married in Australia, I could have done the service,” Ms Hadley said.

Ms Hadley said both Lee-Ann and Michelle are “ecstatic” with the decision to legalise same-sex marriage, with Lee-Ann posting on Facebook that she no longer feels like a second-class citizen.

As a marriage celebrant Ms Hadley had been mindful not to voice her personal opinion on the same-sex marriage debate until it was legalised.

“If I was voicing my opinion I would have been going against the law,” she said.

Now that the law has been passed, same-sex couples will be able to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage from Saturday.

Notices must be lodged at least one calendar month prior to the wedding, which means Australia could begin to see the first same-sex marriages take place from January 9.

Although remaining tight-lipped about the details, Ms Hadley revealed she has already received some enquiries from same-sex couples and looks forward to officiating her first same-sex marriage.

She said there will be a few changes to the service now that same-sex marriage has been legalised, a number of words will change in the vows.

For example, instead of just a bride and groom, the couple getting married can now be referred to as bride, groom, party one, party two, or partner.

Celebrants will now read out a new monitum – a statement explaining the nature of marriage.

Previously, they would have to say, “Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

Ms Hadley said this monitum was often difficult to say at weddings which were attended by same-sex couples.

She said previously couples who have LGBTQI friends could choose to add a sentence saying they don’t fully agree with this and hope their friends can one day be married.

Now that the laws are passed, the definition of a marrage has been changed to “union of two people”.

Under the same-sex marriage bill, new celebrants will not be able to refuse to marry same-sex couples, while celebrants already registered will be able to object.

Ms Hadley she doesn’t see why a celebrant’s right to refuse a couple should be any different to what it previously was.

“I haven’t turned anyone away,” she said.

“But if I had a male and a female come in and I didn’t feel comfortable with them I wouldn’t refuse to marry them, I’d say that date clashes with another … you’d find a way.

“You don’t always feel you have a connection with a couple, but you don’t need to object to marrying them. People have feelings.”

The legalisation of same-sex marriage comes after 61.6 per cent of Australians voted ‘yes’ in the Same Sex Marriage Postal Survey.