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Elvert Barnes/Flickr (CC-BY)
Shortly after Australia legalized gay marriage in December, Queensland residents Jo Grant and Jill Kindt got married, making theirs the first publicly known same-sex marriage in the county. But the newlyweds’ bliss didn’t last long—Grant passed away from cancer earlier this year.
Originally, the new gay marriage law required couples to wait 30 days before marrying, but Grant and Kindt were given permission on Dec. 15 to marry, one day before outlets such as the Independent and the Guardian began reporting on the nation’s first marriages. They wed in their home’s garden in the resort area called Sunshine Coast.
Grant later died on Jan. 30, just 48 days after she married Kindt. She was battling a rare form of cancer and was in palliative care for her diagnosis. Her ailing health led to the couple’s exemption from the 30-day waiting period.
“Jo and Jill were approved, married, and registered all in one day, after the registrar ruled exceptional circumstances,” Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’Ath explained to Parliament, HuffPost reports.
Before Jo passed away, she was able to call the love of her life her wife. Jo Grant and Jill Kindt were married on December 15. They were the first same-sex couple to be married in Australia. https://t.co/kAsb33TIma #qldpol #auspol pic.twitter.com/FjtRc3icCU
— Felicity Caldwell (@fel_caldwell) March 7, 2018
RIP Jo Grant. You fought a hard fight to win the chance to finally wed your true love. Tears are pouring down our faces for your loss Jill Kindt. 48 days. A lifetime. Hua and I are reaching across the sea to hug a fellow 🏳️🌈woman. #IWD2018 #LGBTQ https://t.co/BSxCiL8Iey
— Tg green tea 🇬🇧🇨🇳🇹🇹🏳️🌈 (@DrinkTg) March 7, 2018
Kindt and Grant’s wedding wasn’t made public knowledge at first, and the family only revealed the ceremony on Wednesday, over a month after Grant had passed away. While the couple was married for less than two months, they had been dating for eight years before marriage equality became the law of the land.
Grant’s mother Sandra believes the marriage “renewed” her daughter’s spirit, “keeping her alive long enough to have one last Christmas with her family,” D’Ath explained.
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.