(Blogmensgo, gay blog of January 12, 2018) Although there were some same-sex weddings in December 2017 already based on special permits (particularly for medical reasons), same-sex marriage has only officially come into effect in Australia on January 9, 2018.
One minute after midnight
The first same-sex weddings were contracted just a few seconds or minutes after 12a.m. in the night of January 9, 2018.
Some of the newly weds were celebrities: Attended by about 50 guests, sprinter Craig Burns and married his partner of 3 years, Luke Sullivan, in Tweed Heads in the North of New South Wales. Both are training for the Commonwealth Games to take place in April 2018 at the Gold Coast.
The following video report shows the two men, who of course would like to win a gold medal each before leaving into their honeymoon.
British singer Sam Smith is also thinking about marrying his boyfriend, American actor Brandon Flynn even though there is no official date yet.
Here is the song “Too Good at Goodbyes” from Smith’s latest album published last September.
A festival in Sydney
During the referendum of 2017, only 57.8% of the inhabitants of New South Wales voted in favor of gay marriage. Nevertheless, its capital Sydney has presented itself as particularly gay and lesbian friendly as we could see during the spectacular New Year’s fireworks.
The opening of marriage to same-sex couples takes place during the first week of the Sydney Festival (January 6 to 28, 2018). This important festival of the arts also featured a special event this year.
The Sydney Festival organizers invited all guests to participate in a reception celebrating same-sex marriage legalization, which was held on January 9 as of 6pm.
And you’re invited!
(Sydney Festival, 9. Januar 2018)
There were rainbows everywhere, and a pool illuminated in pink. People enjoyed cake and champagne, and the evening was completely free of charge.
Marriage certificates for collectors in Queensland
In order to celebrate same-sex marriage, the state of Queensland came up with a very special idea for 2018: They are selling gay and lesbian couples particularly nice wedding certificates with gender-neutral language.
Such certificates are sold for 24.35 AUD (15.90 EUR) each and come in two versions: One with a heart and red ribbon, and one with two intertwined rings with rainbow colors. The “old” versions are still available, too – but they now also feature gender-neutral language. Each couple can choose any of the available formats.
Tasmanian wants to become a destination for LGBT travel
The Tasmanian tour operators started a charm offensive to better promote their island as a travel destination for LGBT couples who would like to get married and spend their honeymoon at a very special place.
In 1997, Tasmania had been the first Australian state to legalize homosexuality and has since become one of the gay-friendliest states in Australia, where 63.6% of the voters voted in favor of gay marriage.
The campaign is organized in cooperation with Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality and has lead to a rainbow accreditation for tourist companies that subscribe to a charter against discrimination.
Neighbours up to date with new developments
The Australian soap opera Neighbours, broadcast since 1985, had modified its 7751st episode, which aired on January 8, 2018 but had been recorded before the same-sex referendum.
In the initial version of the episode, David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) made a wedding proposal to his partner Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson) but said it was only symbolical (because gay marriage was not allowed at the time of shooting).
During the final cut, scriptwriter Paul Gartside removed the parts of the sentence that had since become obsolete, and the wedding proposal was made without any ifs and buts.
Frank-S / MensGo