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The first Australian same-sex weddings can happen in January next year

The first Australian same-sex weddings can happen in January next year

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Attorney-General George Brandis and Governor-General Peter Cosgrove in Canberra

Marriage equality has officially been signed into law in Australia after the Governor-General Peter Cosgrove gave Royal Assent to the same-sex marriage Bill that was successfully passed in parliament on Thursday.

Same-sex couples will be able to marry from 9 January, 2018. Australian law requires couple to give a one month notice of intention to marry before being able to tie the knot.

After 23 attempts and 13 years of campaigning, Australia final made same-sex marriage legal when the House of Representatives voted in favour of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 on Thursday afternoon.

That Bill was introduced into the Senate on the same day the results of a postal survey on the issue revealed the majority of Australians supported same-sex marriage.

The final step to making marriage equality enshrined in Australian law was to get Royal Assent from the Governor-General which happened on Friday.

Royal Assent

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis delivered the legislation to the Governor-General Peter Cosgrove for his approval.

The Governor-General represents Queen Elizabeth II who is the monarch of Australia and has a wide range powers, including signing off on legislation that has passed parliament. That process is known as Royal Assent. In rare cases, the Bill is assented to by the Queen.