waknin hanley wedding
Dan Waknin and James Hanley married at the British Consulate at Circular Quay under British marriage equality legislation. Picture: Adam Ward (Manly Daily)
2 min read

In a bizarre twist, thumbing their noses at the Australian Marriage Laws, a gay couple from the Sydney suburb of Manly have “eloped” and been married at the British Consulate in the city.

James Hanley, who has dual Australian and British citizenship and Dan Waknin were able to tie the knot at the consulate under British marriage equality legislation.

But their union will not be recognised in Australia because gay marriage is not legal.


Dan 35 and James 23 met at a local Manly pub and are believed to be the first to celebrate their gay nuptials in Manly after touring numerous wedding venues in the area only to be told by all of them that their venue had never ever hosted a gay wedding party.

Dan Waknin and James Hanley. Picture: Adam Ward (Manly Daily)
Dan Waknin and James Hanley. Picture: Adam Ward (Manly Daily)

Even though the pair are not the type of people to shout about gay politics, when speaking with the Manly Daily they said they wished their relationship could be deemed legal here.

“The reality is we are happy and we want to be a family,” said Mr Waknin, who was born in Brazil and became an Australian citizen in 2014.

Mr Hanley, also known to friends and family as Freckles, was born in Manly to an English father and Scottish mother.

“We are lucky that James has a British passport.

“We want other people to have the same right as us to marry the loves of their lives.”

Mr Hanley, who works in a bank at Warringah Mall in the nearby suburb of Brookvale, said gay marriage was such a “non-issue”.

“It’s 2016. I can’t believe it’s still so hotly debated in politics. We just need to legalise gay marriage and move on to bigger issues, he said,” he said.

The pair, who paid around $600 for the ceremony at the consulate, eventually chose Shelly Boathouse for their reception and the Quarantine Station for their photos and wedding night.

Dan Waknin and James Hanley. Picture: Adam Ward (Manly Daily)
Dan Waknin and James Hanley. Picture: Adam Ward (Manly Daily)

Mr Waknin, a director of an e-commerce partnership scheme, said he met Mr Hanley at The Steyne Hotel in Manly.

“Who would have thought two gay men would meet at The Steyne?” he said.

“We feel we are very lucky and privileged to have found each other.”

Australia is scheduled to vote in a national plebiscite surrounding same-sex marriage in early 2017.

Last Updated on Feb 8, 2016

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