The couple, Paul McCarthy and Trent Kandler, married in a ceremony in Wellington and had beaten 300 other couples in a competition to be among the first to wed. However, their marriage is not being legally recognized in Australia.
    
McCarthy said on Sunday that it was both historically significant and an important step in their personal lives.
    
American actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, from the hit comedy Modern Family, was a guest of honour when Air New Zealand hosted a same-sex marriage on a flight from Auckland to Queenstown this morning.
    
Over 1,000 same-sex couples in Australia have indicated their plan to travel to New Zealand to marry, according to Australian Marriage Equality lobby group.
    
New Zealand is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region and 14th in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. New Zealand's parliament passed a bill in April amending the country's 1955 marriage act. The move had faced opposition from Christian lobby groups.
    
Conservative lobby group Family First said that changing the Marriage Act was "an arrogant act of cultural vandalism" which did not have a public mandate. Though, the Campaign for Marriage Equality said that it ended a historical injustice.

(Agencies)

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