Australia Reportedly Gets Ready for Gay Marriage Rush

Australian wedding venues are working round the clock to accommodate the expected gay marriage rush after same-sex marriage was signed into Australian law on Friday (Dec 8), with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull having already received several invites.

The historic reform was given royal assent on Friday, the final step in a process that began with a national postal vote in September.

"The Act has now passed into Australian law," said the Queen's representative, Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, at a ceremony in Canberra on Friday.

Gay couples who have already married overseas will have their unions officially recognised from Saturday, when the Bill comes into full effect.

Those wanting to wed can lodge a notice to marry on Saturday, but will have to wait a calendar month before exchanging vows, meaning the first weddings are expected on Jan 9.

All but four members of the 150-seat lower House of Representatives voted in support of marriage equality on Thursday, sparking jubilant scenes in Parliament.

Mr Turnbull, a moderate who has long backed same-sex unions, spent Friday morning encouraging his fellow Australians to start making wedding preparations.

"It is a big Australian hug for all same-sex couples, saying we love and respect you, now go out there and get married," he said.

At least two Sydney councils promised free venues to host marriages as a gesture of solidarity with the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer) communities.