The first Queensland couple has tied the knot on the first official day of marriage equality.
Australia’s same-sex marriage legislation was passed exactly one month ago and while some couples were granted exemptions, today is the first official day of same-sex ceremonies.
Queensland athletes Craig Burns and Luke Sullivan timed their vows so they could say “I do” just minutes after midnight on Tuesday morning.
The couple tied the knot at an intimate service in front of around 50 friends at Summergrove Estate in northern New South Wales.
“It’s another way to show your love and appreciation of your partner in front of the people in your life,” Craig told the ABC.
“Not being able to do that it kind of sucks a bit — you want to be able to show your partner you love them.”
The couple met three years ago, and got engaged in March 2016 with a beachside proposal at Byron Bay.
Elsewhere, Diana and Deanne Ribeiro made their marriage official just minutes after midnight in the Melbourne suburb of Balaclava.
Western Australian couple Gillian Brady and Lisa Goldsmith also wed overnight, more than a decade after holding a commitment ceremony in front of friends and family in their backyard.
Andrew Chatterton told the Adelaide Advertiser he proposed to partner James Hemphill on the night marriage equality passed, and the couple will marry in Adelaide this afternoon.
In Tasmania, Roz Kitschke and Lainey Carmichael were married by a celebrant at their home south of Hobart in a ceremony that began at 5.30am.
The Equality Campaign congratulated the newlyweds and other couples planning weddings.
“Across Australia, people are celebrating the love and commitment of same-sex couples and the role we all played in shaping Australia as a fairer and more equal place for all,” spokesperson Alex Greenwich said.
— Alex Greenwich MP (@AlexGreenwich) January 8, 2018
Campaign group GetUp’s marriage equality director Sally Rugg said many same-sex couples had waited decades for today.
“From Tuesday onwards, no couple will have to wait to declare their love and solemnise their commitment to each other,” she said.
“From here on in young LGBTIQ Australians will know that they too can look forward to a future of acceptance, love and marriage, if that’s what they choose.
“Australia is one huge step closer to practising the value of fairness that we preach.”
On Tuesday afternoon marriage equality campaigner Magda Szubanski tweeted, “Congratulations to all the LGBTQI people who are getting married today, I am so thrilled! … We have all waited so long for this wonderful day.”
Today’s the day!! Congratulations to all the LGBTQI people who are getting married today! 💝 🍾🎉❤️🌈🎈I am so thrilled! Woohoo!!! we have all waited so long for this wonderful day. Please send me pics of your special day 😘❤️🌈💎💖 https://t.co/Cy9sybMasx
— Magda Szubanski (@MagdaSzubanski) January 8, 2018