Australia: Justice Michael Kirby weds 50 years after that summer of '69 - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaJustice Michael Kirby weds 50 years after that summer of '69

12:35  11 february  2019
12:35  11 february  2019 Source:   theage.com.au

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Michael Donald Kirby AC CMG (born 18 March 1939) is an Australian jurist and academic who is a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, serving from 1996 to 2009. He has remained active in retirement

" Summer of ' 69 " is a song recorded by the Canadian musician Bryan Adams, from his fourth album, Reckless (1984). The song was written by Adams and Jim Vallance

Justice Michael Kirby weds 50 years after that summer of '69© Supplied Michael Kirby and his partner Johan van Vloten last year.

Fifty Februarys ago former High Court Justice Michael Kirby met a dashing Dutchman called Johan van Vloten, on a hot summer’s night at the Bottoms Up bar of the old Rex Hotel in Kings Cross.

On Monday night, half a century to the day later, the two men were married before family and close friends at their Bondi Junction home. It was a small celebration for a big love affair.

“They explored the world and each other. They liked what they discovered,” the celebrant Michelle Bailey told the crowd. In the private ceremony, with Justice Kirby’s brother Donald, and Mr van Vloten’s nephew Len acting as witnesses, those gathered heard that the marriage of these two men was “proof positive of the capacity of love to prevail over obstacles, hostility, change and the passing of time”.

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Michael J.R. Kirby (February 20, 1925 – May 25, 2002 in Laguna Niguel, CA) was a Canadian figure skater who competed in men's singles, and was also (for a short while) an actor. Later was an ice rink owner and skating coach.

Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. In place of hippies subsisting on acid and food handouts there are hipsters with bowls of organic acai and It is, of course, no surprise that the city has changed in half a century. But the summer of love cast a mystique that enchanted San Francisco

Justice Michael Kirby weds 50 years after that summer of '69© Supplied Michael Kirby and his partner Johan van Vloten in 1969, the year they met.

Although within weeks of their 1969 meeting, the two were introduced and accepted by their respective families, it would take 25 years for their homosexual relationship to become enshrined in federal law in 1994, and another 48 before they could marry in Australia.

"Together they suffered the loss of beloved family members. They also lost precious friends to the scourge that was, and still is, AIDS,” said Ms Bailey, who is also a research scientist and HIV clinical trial co-ordinator at the Kirby Institute, the national research centre founded in 1986 in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, named in his honour and where he is patron.

Justice Michael Kirby weds 50 years after that summer of '69© Supplied The couple first met at the Rex Hotel in Kings Cross in 1969.

Justice Kirby, who turns 80 next month, said he knew since 1956, as a student at Fort Street Boys High School that he was gay, but had not felt a special need to be married now same-sex marriage was legal.

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Lawyers' Weekly.Interview with Justice Michael Kirby on the Occasion of the Conferring of the The Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG, High Court of Australia, Delivered 25 November 2003 The University of NSW Symposium to mark the 50 th Anniversary of the publication of "Province and

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“Tonight's step is not therefore even a ‘new beginning’. They insist that it is a continuation of what began 50 years ago," Ms Bailey said.

"Those who are here already know their story. And those who are not here, and are interested, can find it described readily enough. For Johan and Michael themselves, their story is written on their hearts."

Justice Michael Kirby weds 50 years after that summer of '69© Supplied The couple, pictured here in Rose Bay in 1996, had their story "written on their hearts," said celebrant Michelle Bailey.

Ms Bailey said on a whim she "reached out to Michael by email as I saw he had featured in a newspaper article that circulated about work around the time of same-sex marriage being legalised. I informed him that I worked at the Kirby Institute, that I too am in a same-sex relationship but also that I am a celebrant, 'Michelle the Shellibrant' and that I wanted to offer my services if Michael and Johan ever did decide to marry."

Last November they chose to take her up on the offer.

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