Right now, around Australia, the very first LGBTIQ weddings are finally happening. And that’s because January 9 is the first day amendments to the marriage act have come into force, redefining marriage as simply a union between “two people.”
Some of the first ceremonies happened just after midnight Tuesday, with athletes Craig Burns, 29, and Luke Sullivan, 23, one notable couple tying the knot in northern NSW. Craig later described the experience to news.com as “surreal.”
In November, nearly 62 percent of Australia voted for marriage equality. Then on December 7, the House of Representatives passed law authorising amendments to the Marriage Act.
“What a day. What a day. What a day in history. What a day for love,” swooned Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that night on the Project. “What a day to put our arms around same-sex couples and say we love you, we respect you, you have all the rights that everyone else has had for so long—now we’re all at one.”
According to ANZ senior economist Cherelle Murphy, a flurry of weddings over the next 12 months will see at least $650 million injected into the economy.
Several cities around the country have also announced concessions for marrying couples, including Sydney which has offered up its venues for free to any couple getting hitched within the next 100 days. So far six couples have taken up the offer.