January 9 marked the first day that same-sex weddings could occur in Australia without a waiver, and just minutes after midnight, couples across the country tied the knot.
In New South Wales, Glasgow Commonwealth Games sprinter Craig Burns and his partner, fellow athlete Luke Sullivan, wed just minutes into January 9, the ABC reported.
“It’s another way to show your love and appreciation of your partner in front of the people in your life,” Burns told the national broadcaster.
Brisbane couple Jak Vaessen and Terry O’Hanlon had the same idea, celebrating their 7-year relationship by marrying at 12:01 a.m. before 130 guests.
“For me to be able to say Terry is my husband is so special ... that it is not an embarrassment, it’s just a normal part of Australian life now,” Vaessen said. “We were just going to keep it small, I mean, it’s in our house, but so many people wanted to be involved which has been so amazing.”
Nearly 62 percent of Australians voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in a voluntary postal survey last November. Legislation allowing such nuptials cleared in parliament soon after.
Now couples all over the country are taking their vows: