Dubbo couple claim 'equality' as they marry at Dubbo Courthouse

MARRIED: Bizzi Mason and Kris Stevens are all smiles after their marriage at Dubbo Courthouse on Monday afternoon. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE.
MARRIED: Bizzi Mason and Kris Stevens are all smiles after their marriage at Dubbo Courthouse on Monday afternoon. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE.

The brides wore “nice casual” clothes and served home-made cake and champagne to a handful of loved ones after exchanging vows at Dubbo Courthouse on Monday.

The marriage of long-time partners, Kris Stevens and Bizzi Mason, was as simple as it was momentous.

It is thought to have been the first marriage of a gay couple in the city.

The Marriage Act officially changed on December 9 after the Federal Parliament voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

But couples must wait a month to tie the knot after formally flagging their intention to marry.  January 15 was the earliest the Dubbo lovebirds could legally wed.

In the lead-up to their special day, Ms Stevens and Ms Mason spoke of obtaining “equal rights” through the acquisition of a marriage certificate.

“We want our union to be legally recognised in Australia like that of our heterosexual friends,” Ms Stevens said.

SURPRISE: Kris Stevens and Bizzi Mason got a surprise when they emerged from Dubbo Courthouse where they were married on Monday afternoon to find a group of friends waiting for them. PHOTO: BELINDA SOOLE.

SURPRISE: Kris Stevens and Bizzi Mason got a surprise when they emerged from Dubbo Courthouse where they were married on Monday afternoon to find a group of friends waiting for them. PHOTO: BELINDA SOOLE.

Ms Mason said marriage provided important protections. “No one can dispute superannuation,” she said. “No one can can dispute you attending your partner in hospital. No one can dispute you making decisions in hospital. Equal rights is what it is.”

The women’s 15 years together has included a civil union ceremony in New Zealand in 2009.

“We made the commitment to one another a long time ago,” Ms Stevens said. “This is about formalising it in Australia and gaining equality. So I’ve tried to keep it really simple.”

The couple used an excerpt from their vows at the civil union at Monday’s ceremony. “I will love, support and care for you for all of our tomorrows,” they said.

A former Member for Dubbo, Reverend John Mason, was on hand to support his daughter and Ms Stevens on Monday. Witnesses were Ms Mason’s “bestie” Alison Bernasconi and Ms Stevens’ son, Steve.

The newlyweds are set to take their retro caravan to a music festival In Echuca in February where Ms Stevens’ son and daughter, Mojo Juju, will perform and celebrate milestone birthdays.

“It’s as close as we’re going to get to a honeymoon,” Ms Stevens said.

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