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  1. ITV Report

Same-sex couples in Australia marry at midnight to mark start of marriage equality

Sarah Turnbull (left) and Rebecca Hickson pose for a photograph with their Certificate of Marriage after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Credit: PA

Same-sex couples across Australia celebrated wedding ceremonies at midnight on Tuesday as the final legal barrier to gay marriage fell away.

Marriage equality was passed into law on December 9, however Australia requires that all couples give a month's notice for weddings.

"It's another way to show your love and appreciation of your partner in front of the people in your life," said athletes Craig Burns a 29-year-old sprinter who will compete in the Commonwealth Games in Australia's Gold Coast in April.

He married Luke Sullivan near the east coast city of Tweed Heads.

Felicity Evers (left) and Jenny Thompson share a toast after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Credit: PA

In Newcastle, New South Wales, Rebecca Hickson, 32, married her partner of nine years, Sarah Turnbull, 34.

Hickson said the couple wanted to be part of history by becoming one of the first same-sex couples to marry in Australia.

The Australian Parliament overwhelmingly voted for same-sex marriage after a nationwide postal survey found that 62 percent of respondents wanted marriage equality.

The one-month waiting period was waived for some couples who had exceptional circumstances included a partner's terminal illness.