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After 42 years together, the state finally recognises their relationship

First couples register for civil unions in Queensland

Same-sex couples in Queensland Australia, queued up to be the first to register for civil unions in the state. Among them were John Ebert and John Stafford who are legally formalising their relationship after 42 years together.

'We already have recognition amongst family, friends, neighbours and total acceptance," Ebert told News.com.au. 'What it means is there are a couple of legal things it will be helpful with and it's a step forward for gay marriage. I don't think at this stage in our lives and after 42 years that we'd necessarily go for marriage, but it is important that it's available for younger gay people who want to have it.'

Another couple David Mildren and Collin Dubery were married in South Africa and moved to Australia in 1995. 'In 1995, Australia was so far ahead of the rest of the world in terms of human rights, but since it has gone backwards,' Dubery said.

The first civil unions in Queensland will start from 7 March.

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