Across Australia, same-sex couples married at midnight after the last legal impediment to same-sex marriage expired.
On the 7th December 2017, Australian parliament held the vote that would legalise the marriage equality bill. The bill passed its third reading with only four members of parliament (3 from Coalition MPs, 1 independent) in opposition.
Commonwealth Games sprinter Craig Burns and athlete Luke Sullivan were one of the many couples to tie the knot in a midnight ceremony. The two, who got engaged three years ago, were married near the east coast city of Tweed Heads.
“It’s another way to show your love and appreciation of your partner in front of the people in your life,” said Mr Burns (29).
Just north of Sydney in Newcastle, Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull got hitched in another midnight service. The pair has been together for nine years.
Like many Australians, Hickson spoke of the lead up to the vote being passed by parliament as “a horrible time”. They wanted to be a part of history by being one of the first couples to tie the knot.
Lainey Carmichael, 51 and Roz Kitschke, 46, married shortly after sunrise in Tasmania. “New day; new era — and we don’ like the heat that much,” Kitschke said.
They decided on an early start to avoid the blistering heat, as Australia are still in summer season.
Marriages are only taking place from today due to a requirement that all couples give a months notice for weddings.
Federal Government imposed this one month waiting period at the request of the churches many years ago to give parishioners time to object to religious unions.
Charles Foley, a civil celebrant has been protesting the one month wait for years saying that it is one of the longest in the world.
Ireland currently has a waiting period of three months.
Australia joined Ireland in being the only two nations to put the case of marriage equality to a democratic vote.
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