For the first time, same sex couples who have married overseas will have their unions counted in the Australian census.
Australian Marriage Equality had lobbied for a change of census rules, and according to its convener Peter Furness, this move is an important sign of respect.
"It also highlights how nonsensical the federal government's failure to recognise same-sex marriage has become," news.com.au quoted Furness, as saying in a statement.
Furness said AME members had staged a sit-in at the Australian Bureau of Statistics offices and campaigned long and hard for many years.
Jacqui Tomlins, together with her same-sex partner Sarah Nichols, took a case to the Federal Court in 2004 to have their Canadian marriage recognised in Australia.
She also welcomed the new census rules.
"After eight years of being happily married it's nice to see one government department, at least, stepping into line with prevailing community attitudes," she said.
"The next step is full equality," Tomlins added.
The Australian Census will be on August 9.