This Australian gay couple married just minutes after same-sex marriage became legal
Athletes Craig Burns and Luke Sullivan have become one of the first gay couples to marry after Australia’s same-sex marriage law came into effect.
The pair tied the knot just minutes after midnight on January 9, a month after the country’s Parliament voted to pass The Marriage Act.
The bill was approved in overwhelmingly numbers by lawmakers after the public did the same, voting in favour of equal marriage by a 61.6% to 38.4% margin.
Couple who were given exemptions to marry before today’s landmark have already tied the knot, with Sydney’s Lauren Price and Amy Laker the first to be wed under the new law.
And the wait is now also over for Craig and Luke.
Craig, who sprinted for Australia in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, married his partner of three years in an intimate ceremony attended by 50 of their friends and family.
Following the wedding at the picturesque Summergrove Estate in New South Wales, Craig said that marriage had not even been on his mind until he met Luke.
But when he realised that he wanted to make a lifelong commitment to his partner, achieving marriage equality took on a new importance, he said.
“It’s another way to show your love and appreciation of your partner in front of the people in your life,” Craig explained.
“Not being able to do that it kind of sucks a bit — you want to be able to show your partner you love them.”
Luke said that the support shown to him and new husband had moved them.
“My Instagram direct messages have blown up with people I have never met I don’t know who are just sending love and congratulations, it’s really touching,” he said.
“Equality where we can get married is a huge step forward for Australia.”
Craig’s sister, Sarah Ross, paid tribute to her brother’s journey.
“A few months ago we didn’t know if he’d be able to get legally married in Australia, so the fact that today he gets to have a husband is pretty incredible,” she said.
“It’s something that should have happened a long time ago so for me to see it happen today is pretty important to us.”
Sarah May Alexander, who conducted the ceremony, said that officiating a same-sex wedding meant a great deal 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 said.
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“So tonight I get to say marriage is between two people.”
She added that Craig and Luke had been the perfect pair to deal with.
“It’s been the opposite of anything bridezilla – they have been a dream team,” she said.
The two athletes are putting their honeymoon on hold until after the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, which both newlyweds are training for.