Australia’s first openly gay High Court judge, Michael Kirby, will marry his partner on the 50th anniversary of the day they met.
Kirby revealed plans to marry Johan van Vloten during a speech to students at Bond University.
The 79-year-old served as a High Court judge from 1996-2009 and has since been a vocal human rights advocate, especially on LGBTI rights.
He did consider marrying his partner after Australia legalized same-sex marriage in December last year, but thought it might be too late for them.
‘We were not all that enthusiastic [about getting married],’ he told the students and reported by News Corp.
‘Not because we didn’t support the right of citizens to get married if they wished to, and not to be disqualified if they were LGBT.
‘But because we’ve been together now for 49 years and eight months. And so it just seemed a little artificial. It seemed a little late for the confetti. And it also seemed to us a little bit patriarchal.’
Kirby then revealed the pair would marry on 11 February 2019, exactly 50 years after they first met.
‘We’ve ultimately decided that we are going to get married,’ he said.
‘And we’ll get married at home. We will never call each other husband. You know, many gay people call each other husband. Our relationship is not like husband and husband.
‘Our relationship essentially is one of partner and partner or spouse and spouse. We are happy with spouse. We will use that.’
Kirby also revealed the pair would visit the site where they first met, the Rex Hotel which was the first gay bar the former High Court judge ever went to.
‘The following night we will go back, on the Tuesday, because we met on a Tuesday, we will go back to what is now the Rex bistro. The Rex hotel has been pulled down, it is now a bistro,’ he said.
‘We will go back and ask for a table. Is that weird? No, I think it’s a bit romantic.’