Today marks the first official day of marriage equality in Australia.
GetUp marriage equality director Sally Rugg said many couples had waited decades for this day.
“From today onwards, no couple will have to wait to declare their love and solemnise their commitment to each other,” Ms Rugg 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. Finally, all love is formally recognised as equal.
Ms Rugg said today wouldn’t have been possible without the millions of Australians who pushed Parliament to make this important legislative change.
“This historic day belongs to every single Australian who voted Yes for marriage equality. To every one of you, thank you.”
Sally Rugg will today attend the same-sex wedding of Antony and Ron in Melbourne and is available for comment all day, except for during the ceremony between 2pm and 4pm.
Marriage equality became law on the 7th of December when parliament passed an amendment to the Marriage Act with a thumping majority. The bill was assented shorty afterwards, allowing LGBTIQ couples to register their intent to marry. There is a one month waiting time to receive a marriage license, so today is the first day LGBTIQ couples have full, equal access to marriage.
A handful of legal same-sex weddings have already occurred over the past month, with Births, Deaths and Marriages granting exemptions for couples in extraordinary circumstances to have the license expedited, (i.e. if someone was terminally ill).
The definition of marriage read by celebrants at weddings was amended immediately after the law changed on December 7th, to “The definition of marriage is a union between two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” This definition is now read at all weddings.