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Hundreds of same-sex marriages registered so far

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More than 370 same-sex marriages have been registered across Australia within the first month of such weddings becoming legal.

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NSW has led the way with 142 same-sex couples formally registering their marriage since January 9.

They accounted for nearly nine per cent of the state’s 1602 recognised weddings in that time, the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages told AAP.

While same-sex marriage was signed into law in December, couples had to give a month’s notice of their intention to marry.

Some 88 same-sex marriages have been registered in Victoria to date.

In South Australia, 25 same-sex couples have been married so far.

In Queensland, 61 same-sex marriages have officially been recorded to the end of January, with almost two-thirds involving women.

Forty-five of 687 registered marriages in Western Australia were between same-sex couples in the month to Wednesday.

Tasmania’s Births, Deaths and Marriages has registered a total of 10 gay marriages since January 9.

The overall number of same-sex couples who tied the knot in January is likely to be higher, however, as in most jurisdictions couples have up to a fortnight to register their marriage.

The City of Sydney was among two councils in the NSW capital to offer free venues to same-sex couples following the law change.

Six groups have already taken up the City of Sydney’s offer with more than a dozen other weddings pencilled in.

“It is wonderful these couples chose to celebrate their special day in their local parks and community venues,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Sydney celebrant Andy Rohner married a same-sex couple in their 60s whose relationship had survived more than three decades.

“You could tell how much they were still in love and truly respected each other,” he said.

“It was quite beautiful and important, not just for gay people, but for everyone to see them finally marry.”

Rohner is frantically trying to book his own Hunter Valley wedding later this year with his partner of five years following their engagement at the 2017 Mardi Gras.

After the rush of couples marrying immediately after January 9, Newcastle celebrant Kez Tippett has experienced a trickle of bookings only.

She puts it down to gay couples now joining their straight counterparts in hunting out vacant venues, photographers, caterers and celebrants.

But Tippett felt like she had played a role in an important part of history when she wed three couples on January 9 in an event dubbed the Big Gay Day.

Brisbane wedding photographer Alison Cooke has enjoyed a bump in inquiries since the successful “Yes” vote in the nation-wide postal survey was announced in mid-November.

“I expect this will continue and same-sex marriages will eventually be as common as hetero marriages,” said Cooke, who has photographed four same-sex weddings.

But Karen Rose, president of the Alliance of Celebrants Queensland, doesn’t think the law change will have a major impact on the industry.

“The idea that the same-sex marriage legislation will create a boom in the wedding industry is a misapprehension,” she said.

“Just as not all heterosexual couples want to take the step towards marriage, not all same-sex couples want to get married.”

Similarly, Perth marriage celebrant Alicia Zulberti said she had not seen an influx of same-sex marriages this past month.

– AAP

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