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Australian Same-Sex Couples Celebrate the Right to Marry in Midnight Wedding Ceremonies

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As the clock struck 12 a.m. on Tuesday, wedding bells rang all over Australia as many same-sex couples exercised their long-awaited right to marry.

Though the country legalized same-sex marriage in December, a law that requires all couples to file a “Notice of Intended Marriage” at least one month before the wedding itself meant that same-sex couples would not actually be able to marry until this Tuesday.

A handful of exceptions were granted for couples with extenuating circumstances to marry last month, the Guardian reported, but most couples have had to wait until after Jan. 9.

And many of those couples decided not to wait a second more.

Across Australia, couples celebrated their love in wedding ceremonies just after midnight, according to the BBC

Read more: Australia Just Legalized Gay Marriage and People Can't Stop Celebrating

"Equality where we can get married is a huge step forward for Australia," Luke Sullivan, who married Craig Burns at midnight in New South Wales, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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After 22 unsuccessful attempts to legalize gay marriage, Australia has finally become one of 26 countries — including the UK, Germany, and Malta — where same-sex marriage is allowed.

And people couldn’t be happier.

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