Gays marry in midnight ceremonies across Australia


January 09, 2018
Members of parliament (from left) Cathy McGowan, Adam Brandt and Andrew Wilkie celebrated the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives at Parliament House last year. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP):

Same-sex couples married in midnight ceremonies across Australia on Tuesday (Monday Jamaica time) after the last legal impediment to gay marriage expired.

Most gay and lesbian couples were required to provide one month's notice of their intention to marry after marriage equality became law on December 9, with overwhelming majority support of Parliament.

That made Tuesday the first possible date for gay marriages.

That notice period was waived for some couples who married in recent weeks. Those exceptional circumstances included a partner's terminal illness and overseas-based relatives booking flights to Australia before the official start date for the new law was known.

The Australian Parliament overwhelming voted for same-sex marriage after a nationwide postal survey that found in November that 62 per cent of respondents wanted marriage equality.