When Anne Forden and Elizabeth Rider met and fell in love in Zimbabwe 34 years ago, the idea that they would one day be married seemed far-fetched. Zimbabwe was certainly not a place that was supportive of equal rights for same-sex couples and Australia was a long way off beginning to properly discuss changing the law. They remained in Zimbabwe for 6 years before moving to Australia in 1990 and then to Castlemaine in 1992, where they have lived together as a couple ever since.
Late last year, when legislation was passed to allow same sex couples to marry, Elizabeth and Anne decided that they would get married as an act in support of the new legislation. They both say that the recent same-sex marriage survey was not personally distressing for them but that some of their friends were distressed by the event. They felt fortunate to live in the Castlemaine community, a place that is supportive and inclusive.
Being a practical person, Anne spent some time reviewing the legal differences between being an unmarried couple and a married couple. She discovered that, despite already having a will, her subsequent marriage would cause that will to be largely revoked. Anne and Elizabeth then consulted local Castlemaine lawyer, Caroline Grainger of Grainger Legal, who confirmed that was indeed the case and promptly prepared new wills for them. They were then off to enjoy their new relationship status… as a married couple with brand new wills!