Marriage Equality Begins in Australia as First Same-Sex Couples Marry

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With Australia's High Court deciding to postpone its ruling on the legality of the Australian Capitol Territory's same-sex marriage law, gay couples in Canberra have already begun tying the knot this weekend. In an emotional ceremony at midnight on Saturday, Alan Wright (left) and Joel Player (middle) became the first same-sex couple to say 'I do.' The Canberra Times reports:  

ACT"To have it finally legalized, it's a big step for us in our relationship, so we're just wanting to get it done," Mr Player said before the ceremony.

Mr Wright said the decision to get married in the middle of the night was made not for a grab at history, but to fulfill the words of their celebrant Sharyn Gunn [pictured above right] – who performed the couple's commitment ceremony.

"She said the minute it becomes legal, you two are going to be the first I marry," he said.

Mr Player, 30, said he viewed each of the couples making their vows under the ACT's landmark marriage equality law this weekend as the first, but the couple had embraced the prominence of being "12.01" to promote the message of acceptance.

"We're doing it at midnight because that's what we want to do…but at the same time we sort of took it in our stride to use it as a bit of marriage equality shining at the same time, and helping get the voice out there that we are no different," he said.

"It's a bloody giant leap forward for Australia."

Photo credit: Karleen Minney


  1. Rick says

    I see Australia has taken a page out of America’s play book and simply disregarded the will of the people on this issue. This is not how democracy should work. The only way we can get society to accept the marriage of two men is through gradually pushing the issue until the people approve. By forcing this on society, the Australian government is ensuring backlash on gay rights. Liberal disregard for the will if the people will prove to be our foe and not our friend.

  2. RonCharles says

    This is a smart tactic. It is now going to be very hard to overturn any of these marriages. Once even one jurisdiction in Australia has gay marriage, it is going to start the whole country on the road to inevitably having it.

  3. Bob says

    Rick, communicating from the exit orifice again. The australian people are about 70 percent in favour of same sex marriage, and have been for a while. Its the politicians who are behind, and particularly. The federal conservatives. A conscience vote, if allowed, would be expected to pass. .

  4. Peter says

    Rick. The government of the Australian Capital Territory went to the polls with a clear policy that they would introduce same sex marriage laws. They won that election by a large margin. The ACT also has the highest approval rate for same sex marriage in Australia with an approval rating of over 70%. Can you please explain to me how these laws are against the will of the people

  5. says

    As others have pointed out, a majority of Australians have favored marriage equality for several years now, so if you think public opinion should determine public policy, it’s the conservative politicians who have been holding this up that are out of step.

    Of course those who say wait wait wait when it comes to civil rights usually have ulterior political motives or personal issues that make such rights irrationally threatening to their lives.

  6. woody says

    Well, we’ve got some international precedent on our side. Three other capital district’s–Mexico City, DC and Brasilia–were all early adopters of marriage equality and none saw those changes revoked. Hopefully, Australia won’t have the dubious honor of breaking that trend.
    Tony Abbot, why don’t you go back and be a priest? That way you could deny marriage to anyone you want. Do you get some sadistic joy out of toying with other people’s lives?

  7. Rick says

    The will of the people is being ignored! Where’s Democracy? Where! The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!

    …oh wait, 70 perecent of Australia wants gay marriage…and only a small Minority of Conservative Religious creeps were keeping it from being legal?

    So I was wrong?


    Well….Jesus. And Abortion!