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Australia's 1st gay marriage ends with tragic death of terminally ill spouse

Less than two months after tying the knot in Australia’s first same-sex wedding, Jo Grant succumbed to a rare form of cancer.
/ Source: Reuters

Australia's first gay marriage lasted just 48 days and ended in heartbreak with the death of a terminally ill woman, Queensland state parliament heard on Wednesday after the family gave permission for details to be released.

Image: Jill Kindt
Jill Kindt holds a photo of her with her late wife, Jo Grant. Kindt is joined by Grant's mother, Sandra Kelly, and Kelly's husband, Paul, at Parliament House in Brisbane, Australia on March 7, 2018.Dan Peled / AP via Reuters

Queensland woman Jo Grant married her partner of eight years, Jill Kindt, on Dec. 15 in the garden of their home on Australia’s northeast Sunshine Coast, less than a week after the nation became the 26th country to recognize same sex unions.

The couple had avoided a 30-day waiting period and were granted exceptional circumstances to become Australia’s first married same sex couple following the passage of the marriage equality laws on Dec. 9.

The wedding had remained private until it was revealed with the family’s permission in parliament on Wednesday.

“Jo and Jill were approved, married, and registered all in one day, after the registrar ruled exceptional circumstances,” Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’Ath told parliament.

“Jo’s mum Sandra believes the marriage renewed Jo’s spirit, keeping her alive long enough to have one last Christmas with her family.”

Grant, who was in palliative care for a rare form of cancer, died on January 30.

The couple were one of 159 same sex couples who have been married in Queensland since the marriage equality laws were passed, according to the state government in a statement.