First gay marriages take place in Australia

2017-12-16 22:37
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australia's first gay weddings took place on Saturday, ushering in a new era after the country's marriage equality law came into effect in December.

The historic reforms were given royal assent on December 8, the final step in a process that began with a national postal vote in September.

There was supposed to be a 30-day waiting period after couples registered to marry, with the first weddings expected on January 9.

But some sought an exemption due to their circumstances, and the first ceremonies went ahead on Saturday, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne.

"Australia's first legal same-sex marriage has just taken place. Congratulations Amy and Lauren," Equal Marriage Rights Australia announced on its Facebook page.

Fairfax Media said Lauren Price, 31, and Amy Laker, 29, solemnised their vows in Sydney, while Melbourne couple Amy and Elise McDonald - who coincidentally have the same surname - tied the knot two hours later.

A photo showed Price and Laker dressed in traditional white gowns and holding hands as they said "I do" on a glorious Sydney day.

Among hundreds of comments on the Facebook page, Paul Antoine said: "Now... has the country collapsed? NOOO!! Two women have just shown their love. Pretty simple, but nonetheless special in my view!"

Jason Chapman added: "Relentless dedication from so many over the last fifty years have led us to enjoy this beautiful moment of equality. Congratulations ladies."

All but four members of Australia's 150-seat lower House of Representatives voted in support of marriage equality, with the legislation passing without any religious freedom amendments that some were pushing for.

The bill was introduced in parliament by the conservative government after Australians in November endorsed the reforms in a contentious voluntary postal vote.

Nearly 80 percent of eligible voters took part in the poll, and almost 62 percent of those who voted chose "yes" on their ballots.

Fairfax said Price and Laker had originally intended to hold a commitment ceremony at the British consulate because Price was from Wales.

But when the new law was passed, they sought an exemption from the normal waiting period because Price's family had already travelled to Sydney for the celebrations.

Melbourne's Amy and Elise McDonald, aged 36 and 28, reportedly only got permission to marry on Saturday morning, gaining an exemption for similar reasons, according to the Herald Sun newspaper.

They were allowed to have a legal marriage on financial grounds and because their families had travelled from overseas.

Same-sex marriage is now recognised in more than 20 countries, of which 16 are in Europe.

Read more on:    australia  |  lgbti rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.