A “dream team” couple wed just minutes after same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia.
Tuesday 9 January marked the official day that same-sex couples in Australia could begin marrying, following the country’s vote in parliament to finally introduce marriage equality last month.
One of the first couples to exercise their new-found rights, athletes Luke Sullivan and Craig Burns, exchanged their vows just after the clock struck midnight.
Sullivan, aged 23, and Burns, aged 29, have gone viral after pictures from their wedding spread across social media.
In an interview with ABC Australia, Sullivan said: “My Instagram direct messages have blown up with people I have never met – I don’t know who [they] are – just sending love and congratulations, it’s really touching.
“Equality where we can get married is a huge step forward for Australia.”
Those with ‘special exemptions’ could marry before Tuesday, but most couples had to wait until Tuesday.
Sarah May Alexander, who conducted the ceremony, called the couple a “dream team” and said the occasion was very important to her.
“Up until a month ago I had to say some words that were very discriminatory and it broke my heart I used to have to say that marriage was between a man and a woman,” she explained.
“So tonight, I get to say marriage is between two people.”
In December last year, Australia finally passed legislation allowing same-sex couples the same marriage rights as their heterosexual counterparts, in a major milestone for the LGBTQ rights movement.
Only five lawmakers registered their opposition to the bill, and the news of its passing was met with standing ovation by MPs in the House of Representatives.
The vote in parliament came following a voluntary, non-binding postal survey on the issue of same-sex marriage, which saw 61.6% of Australians vote in favour of equality.
Words Liam Gilliver