EQUAL RIGHTS: Same sex couples of the Coffs Coast are not rushing to the altar as yet.
EQUAL RIGHTS: Same sex couples of the Coffs Coast are not rushing to the altar as yet. Contributed

No rush yet by Coffs Coast same sex couples to wed

EVEN when using data from the 2016 Census it's hard to pinpoint with accuracy the number of Australian couples who will benefit from changes to the Marriage Act.

On the Coffs Coast it's even more difficult to crunch the numbers despite LGBTI folks being prominent in the community.

But one thing is certain.

Don't expect a rush by local same sex couples to tie the knot.

Instead, local marriage celebrant Alison Bennett expects a gradual increase in inquiries instead of a flood of nuptials.

"Many of those for whom I perform ceremonies are supportive of marriage equality, especially their loved ones and friends who are finally able to share what they have," she said.

"Last weekend I performed a ceremony, the first since the law was changed, and was brought to tears reading the new monitum and knowing what those new words mean for equality.

"I have a wedding this Saturday where the words are very special to the couple and it is going to be extra special for all of us when I read them and such an honour.

"It is such an emotional thing and a really big deal."

Alison said the most inquiry she received was from those exploring the possibility of becoming marriage celebrants themselves now the law has finally changed.

Meanwhile, the Census reveals just under 46,800 same sex couples are living together in Australia which accounts for 0.9 per cent of all couples cohabitating.

Census director Sue Taylor said numbers had increased by 39 per cent since the 2011 Census reflecting generational changes in the Australian community.

"Most of the increase in same-sex couples living together was due to higher levels of reporting in people aged 20-39," Ms Taylor said.