Wedding Bells Ring Down Under

12.7.2013

By Neal Broverman

Dozens of same-sex couples marry in the Australian Capital Territory in advance of a ruling on their legality.

Same-sex couples converged on Canberra, Australia's capital, to wed before the nation's high court rules whether the marriages will stand. The approximately 20 weddings represented the first legal same-sex marriages performed in Australia.

House MP Stephen Dawson and partner Dennis Liddelow were the first couple married in the early hours of Saturday. "This is about us professing our love for each other and reminding each other after 10 years that we still love each other and at least for the moment our relationship will be legally recognised as a marriage," Dawson said, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports. "I hope that the High Court sees fit to allow these laws to stay."

While the Australia Capital Territory, which contains Canberra, supports its new law, the nation is challenging it. A decision will be rendered Thursday.

"Regardless of what happens in the high court, the significance of this moment will remain and send a strong signal about what a contemporary 21st-century Australia should look like," ACT attorney-general Simon Corbell said, according to The Guardian.

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