Gay and lesbian couples in Australia
tied the knot in midnight ceremonies across the nation.
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, lawmakers approved a marriage bill,
making Australia the 25th nation with marriage equality.
Couples who want to marry must wait 30
days after registering. On Tuesday, couples who registered on the
first day the law took effect were able to tie the knot. Several gay
couples married without waiting 30 days after receiving a waiver from
lesbian couples first to marry in Australia following passage of
Among the first to marry at the stroke
of midnight were track athletes Craig Burns and Luke Sullivan.
“It's another way to show your love
and appreciation of your partner in front of the people in your
life,” said Burns.
Burns will compete in the Commonwealth
Games in April.