"A prominent gay Australian politician married his long-time partner in southern Spain on Wednesday, two months after his country voted down a proposal to enact same-sex marriage legislation.
Ian Hunter, the social inclusion minister for the state of South Australia, said he was disappointed that his marriage to artist Leith Semmens won't be legal in Australia, but said the two decided they couldn't wait for their country to approve a gay marriage law.
"I thought, we were coming to Spain anyway, so why not get married while we could. Spain is leading the world with its changes to its laws, and Australia is still having the debate, as is France and the UK," he said.
Mayor [of Jun in Granada province] Jose Antonio Rodriguez officiated at the ceremony attended by more than a dozen friends and relatives.
In accordance with a local tradition, the couple kissed for 17 seconds, which were counted out loud by the guests.
Hunter is believed to be the first sitting member of an Australian legislative body to marry a gay partner.
The former scientist has long been a vocal advocate for gay rights, and a lawmaker in the ruling Labour Party in the South Australian state legislature since 2006.
He became a state Cabinet minister last year.The party's annual national conference in December 2011 reversed its opposition to gay marriage, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard remains opposed. Legislation which would have recognised same-sex marriages was defeated in the House of Representatives in September in a 98-48 vote.
While Gillard allows Labour lawmakers to vote however they choose on gay marriage legislation, opposition leader Tony Abbott, a staunch Roman Catholic, insisted lawmakers in his conservative Liberal Party reject it.
Opinion polls consistently show that most Australians support same-sex marriage.
Spain enacted its gay marriage law in 2005."
More at AP source here.