Gay couples began marrying shortly past
midnight in the Australian capital of Canberra as the nation's first
gay marriage law took effect.
Sydney Morning Herald reported on the marriages of Alan
Wright and Joel Player, who exchanged vows beneath the 55 bronze
bells of the National Carillon at Lake Burley Griffin, and Stephen
Dawson and Dennis Liddelow. Dawson, a West Australian state
politician, and Liddelow wed outside Parliament House.
At least 20 gay couples are marrying in
Canberra this weekend, according to gay rights group Australian
However, the Australian Capital
Territory's (ACT) marriage law might be short lived.
Upon passage in October, Prime Minister
Tony Abbott, whose conservative Liberal-National coalition swept into
power on September 7 on a pledge to lower taxes, filed a legal
challenge to the law, arguing that only the federal government has
the power to regulate marriage.
The Australian High Court announced
last week that it would rule Thursday on the federal government's
“We don't know how long we've got in
the sense that the High Court might overrule the laws next week, so
we thought: 'Let's do it straight away and let's have the maximum
amount of time being married,'” Dawson is quoted as saying by the