Australian gay couples are planning to cross the Tasman to wed after New Zealand's parliament voted to legalise same-sex marriage.
New Zealand's parliament yesterday voted to redefine marriage as a union between two people, becoming the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so.
The vote, which passed 77-44, means gay couples could be legally wed as early as August.
Australian Emma Mansell says she will not be wasting any time before heading across the Tasman with her partner to marry.
"We're planning in September (to be) having a ceremony in Sydney, and then after that at the end of the year we're planning to get legally married in New Zealand," she said.
Sydneysider Tara Price is also planning Kiwi nuptials.
"New Zealand has taken a big step and it's something Australia really needs to consider," she said.
New Zealand Labour MP Louisa Wall, who drove New Zealand's law change, says she hopes it will provide impetus for similar reform in Australia.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Rodney Croome says politicians in Canberra should follow New Zealand's lead.
"I believe that any politician who ignores support for this in the community will lose votes as a result," he said.
Mr Croome says New Zealand stands to make millions of dollars out of the gay wedding market, and Tasmania in particular has missed an opportunity.
Tasmania's Lower House passed marriage equality legislation in October last year, but it was defeated by two votes in the Legislative Council.
"Much of the money that would have been spent here by couples from the mainland marrying in Tasmania will now be spent in New Zealand," Mr Croome said.
"But we haven't missed the opportunity completely. If we take action on this reform soon then some of those couples will still prefer to marry in their own country rather than in a foreign country."
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ruled out any changes to federal legislation for now.
"What we have done is as a political party we've decided that people can exercise their own views and their own conscience when this matter comes before the parliament, which it recently did and I'm sure it will again in future," she told a community cabinet meeting last night at Ringwood, Victoria.