Just days after the Australian
parliament approved a same-sex marriage bill, gay and lesbian couples
began registering their intent to marry on Saturday.
Daniel Barnett, 39, and Daniel
Gray-Barnett, 36, were the first same-sex couple to register in
Sydney, The Guardian reported. Together seven years, the men
got engaged four years ago. They plan to marry on January 30.
“We wanted to have a party and
ceremony with all our family and friends and show to everyone we felt
like we were married,” Gray-Barnett said.
While polling has for some time shown
majority support for same-sex marriage in Australia, legislation has
refused to budge, despite numerous attempts. A postal vote asking
Australians whether the government should extend marriage rights to
gay couples broke the logjam. An overwhelming majority (61.6%) of
Australians who participated voted “yes.” Roughly three weeks
after the results were announced, the marriage bill had become law,
making Australia the 25th nation with marriage equality.
Valeria Ballantyne, 48, and Clare
Jacobs, 31, also registered their wedding on Saturday.
“I thought we would just come in and
sign a form and it would just be a formality but it's actually quite
emotional,” Ballantyne told the AFP.
said, “more emotional than I think we thought it would be.”
The first same-sex weddings are
expected on January 9.