(Blogmensgo, gay blog of February 24, 2018) During the first month after the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia (January 9 to February 7, 2018), about 370 gay and lesbian couples got married there. A certain number of individual cases before the official date, due to special permits, brings the number to about 400 gay weddings in total.
First statistics on same-sex marriage in Australia
Most likely, there was a peak of same-sex weddings on Valentine’s Day. The day before (February 13) was Mardi Gras this year, which is linked to the world-famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. This festival runs over three weeks (February 16 to March 4, 2018), and its culmination certainly is the parade on March 3. There will clearly be another peak in the number of gay weddings that day.
A total of 24.6 million Australians love in six states and three territories on that continent. This is the demographic distribution over the states and territories:
Population (in million inhabitants, estimation as of June 30, 2017):
- New South Wales (7.86)
- Victoria (6.32)
- Queensland (4.93)
- Western Australia (2.58)
- South Australia (1.72)
- Tasmanien (0.52)
- Hauptstadtdistrikt (0.41)
- Northern Territory (0.25)
Number of same-sex weddings between January 9 and February 7, 2018 (plus approximate percentage share in all weddings):
- New South Wales: 142 (9%)
- Victoria: 88
- Queensland: 61
- Western Australia: 45 (6.6%)
- South Australia: 25
- Tasmanien: 10
We can see that the sequence is the same but the percentage of the same-sex weddings varies strongly between the states. Victoria and Queensland are rather underrepresented as to the number of same-sex marriages but the number in New South Wales is higher, probably due to the very gay-friendly city of Sydney.
In Queensland, two thirds of same-sex marriages were contracted between lesbians during the first month. On Valentine’s day, 96 same-sex couples had gotten married there, and 45 more same-sex couples had applied for a wedding license for 2018.
As a reminder: In Queensland, married couples, straight or gay, can get very pretty marriage certificates for collectors all through 2018.
Some anecdotes on same-sex marriage in Australia
Gay marriage has already become part of the collective conscience of Australians, so it is almost banal – but sometimes excessive and funny as well.
Let’s do it, it’s free!
Some municipalities offer couples public locations for weddings at no charge, such as Sydney and Newcastle (both in NSW). About 20 same-sex couples seized this opportunity in Sydney and a few less in Newcastle.
Because of the gay weddings, the statistics have risen for the time being. The longer-term statistics will show whether the effect is sustained or only temporary.
Gay wedding in Tamworth on May 18, 2018
On May 18, 2018, there will be a very special wedding gift for a lucky couple in (Tamworth, NSW). Photographer Donna Pollock and four other business people (Katie Player, Eliza Fagan, Bec Wherritt and Candice Clifford) are jointly offering a newly-wed couple services and material valued at 2544 EUR as a symbol of their commitment to same-sex weddings.
Why on May 18? Simply because that was the only day when all five were available for their service. So on that day, a very lucky couple drawn by lots will get the room, the decoration, the flowers, the wedding ceremony and the photos for free.
On a rollercoaster…
Logan Stojcevski (32) and John Woods (35) received the prize for the most original place to marry. They got married at the highest point of a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park in Santa Clarita, California.
The gay couple from Wollongongong (NSW) could only persuade the registrar and the two witnesses to be very close to them on the top of the rollercoaster. Just take a look at this video:
Gay Wedding on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge
(Addition of March 2, 2018) Warren Orlandi and Pauly Phillips got married on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge on March 1st, 2018, accompanied by their family and friends. However, the celebration was not held on the road surface but on the very top of the bridge, 134m above the water surface.
The background of the unusual location was not the 40th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which was going to take place two days later, but rather to defy the laws of gravity. In fact, the two men had met during a seminar for obese people . Warren Orlandi weighed 370kg in 2013 when he set himself the target to climb up on the steel bridge one day. Over the course of the last five years, he lost about 250kg, and his new husband still wants to lose some weight as well.
The tour operator BridgeClimb Sydney specializes in such trips on the steel bridge over Sydney Bay and says that there were about 4000 requests for weddings on the bridge in the very first year. The first wedding on the bridge was held on June 3, 2008 but Warren and Pauly's wedding was the first gay wedding on the bridge.
The two men, the marriage registrar and the two witnesses had to wear the regular safety garment instead of festive clothing – plus, there was a lot of wind that day.
This video gives a little impression of the celebration on top of the bridge…
Frank-S / MensGo