More than 6500 same-sex couples wed in Australia in 2018, the first full year of marriage equality, says the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Last year was the first full calendar year of legal same-sex marriages in Australia, and 6,538 couples tied the knot.
Of the 119,188 couples who tied the knot over the 12 month period, same-sex marriages accounted for 5.5 per cent of them, the ABS said.
Female same-sex couples represented 57.8 per cent of 2018’s same-sex marriages, compared to the 42.2 per cent who were male couples.
“Inclusion of these marriages has influenced some key statistics,” ABS health and vital statistics director James Eynstone-Hinkins said.
“The median age at marriage recorded the greatest increase in more than a decade.
“This was largely because the median age of same-sex couples was considerably higher than that of opposite-sex couples.”
That median age was 45 for male same-sex couples and 39 for women.
Heterosexual couples married younger, with men typically marrying at 32 while women took their vows at 30.
More than a third of same-sex marriages in New South Wales
New South Wales had more than a third of all same-sex marriages last year (35 per cent, or 2290 weddings).
This was followed by Victoria (1655), Queensland (1292), Western Australia (600).
And then South Australia (387), Tasmanian (143), Australian Capital Territory (130) and the Northern Territory (47).
The Australian Capital Territory was the jurisdiction with the highest proportion of marriages that were same-sex unions, at 8.3%.
Of all the same-sex marriages, 98.9 per cent of them were administered by civil celebrants.
Only 79 couples were married by a religious celebrant. Clergy in the Uniting Church, the first major denomination to allow same-sex marriages, conducted 23.
The data was released on Wednesday in the ABS’ report Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2018.
The ABS found the most popular season to wed was spring (31.8 per cent of all marriages).
The most popular date to marry was Saturday, October 20, 2018. On that day, 1993 couples across the country tied the knot.
Two year anniversary of marriage equality in Australia
This month is the two year anniversary of the “yes” marriage equality vote following the postal survey in 2017.
Longtime marriage equality campaigner Rodney Croome said the new data is a reminder of the reform’s “profound and positive” impact.
“The ABS statistics are a reminder of the large number of LGBTI Australians and our families for whom marriage and equality are important,” he said.
“These figures should also be a reminder that marriage equality was never an ideological crusade.
“[It was a] heartfelt aspiration for equal dignity and belonging that was widely shared by LGBTI people and our families.”
The ABS figures released on Wednesday do not include marriages where partners did not identify as male or female. Mr Croome said it was vital gender diverse partners be visible and counted.
Last year, it was revealed the first ever same sex marriage took place in Queensland in December 2017.
Authorities granted a special exemption to Jo Grant and Jill Kindt to waive the usual 30-day waiting period so Grant could marry before she lost her battle with terminal cancer.
Just days after the passage of marriage equality, the couple held a marriage ceremony in front of family and friends in the garden of their beachside property at Coolum.
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