The first same-sex couples have registered their intent to marry and hold weddings in Australia, and will be able to do so next month.
With couples rushing to register their planned nuptials, the Sydney office of Births, Deaths and Marriages has even had to put on extra staff, according to the The Guardian.
“It was really happy [on Saturday] when people were in here, but this place is a really happy place on the weekend generally anyhow, because we’re performing marriages,” said registrar Amanda Ianna.
Under the new marriage equality laws, previously gendered forms have changed to be inclusive of all genders.
The form to register intent to marry, which must be lodged 30 days before a wedding, previously referred to the bride and bridegroom.
The new form refers instead to Party 1 and 2, with male, female and x options for gender.
The x gender option is for intersex and ‘unspecified’ gender.
Marriage certificates will similarly drop bride and groom in favour of the gender-neutral Party 1 and 2.
The notorious anti-LGBTI line that was required to be read as part of wedding vows since 2004—“the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others”—has also been dropped.
Celebrants are now required instead to read, “Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”
In their ceremonies, LGBTI couples will be able to take each other as lawful wedded spouse rather than bride or groom if they choose.
The first legal same-sex marriages will be conducted in Australia from January 9.