They donned flags, badges, banners and smiles at Prince Alfred Park in Sydney this morning. Hatch spoke to the colourful crowd about what the “Yes” decision meant to them.
Nadine Sharpe and son Zane
Following the Yes announcement Nadine held her son Zane, who cuddled in and cried. “We’re very happy, and overall I’m just relieved,” she said.
“People now see us as equal to everyone else. Not that we felt that we needed anyone’s acceptance, but it is reassuring to know. But I’m annoyed that we had to go through this process in the first place. In any other democracy and so many other countries around the world it’s been a really simple process. To see all the hate and vitriol from the No side targeting vulnerable children, I don’t think they played fair.”
Moni Flannery and Karen Staines
“Karen has had six heart attacks and her kidneys don’t work so I look after her and do all her hemodialysis at home,” Moni said.
“I love her and I care for her so, after 11 years together, today’s decision is so important to us. We are running out of time.”
Alan Morris, Dipesh Umakia, Guy Mitchell and Prasanna Pichai
Part of a South Asian support group called Trikane, these friends hugged each other and cried when the result was announced.
“I called my mum straight away,” said a tearful Dipesh. “She just said, ‘Love wins’.”
Kim Leutwyler and Cole Rodriquez
Kim and Cole are from the US and have been living in Sydney together for the past five years.
“We have been together for about nine years and we got married in the States, ironically before it was actually legal there,” Kim said.
“I am an artist and I paint queer women. It has been such a big build up to this and I’ve had so many conversations about it. It had to happen today.”
Leelan Goddard, Curtis Lee and Dan Wright
“Yes – it’s the one word I’ve been waiting and needing to hear,” said Curtis.
“For more than a decade I’ve been coming to terms with my sexuality so it means a lot. It’s about acceptance.”
Matt Danks, Damon Hartley and Justin Avery
Matt and his fellow flag-waving partner Justin have been together for 15 years and are looking forward to their relationship being recognised.
“After this long, it is such a big day for both of us, and everyone here. It means that our relationship, and relationships like ours, will be accepted just like everyone else’s.”
“I married my partner in Scotland, where it’s legal, two years ago. That was a great experience,” Tamsin said.
“But it will just be nice for our marriage to be recognised here. I also think this is about more than just marriage. It’s a part of a question of what it is to be a nation, and who belongs.”
Rob, Nigel, Jennifer and John
“This means so much more than just the right to marry,” said Rob, who has been “flying the flag” for same-sex marriage since the survey was announced.
“It means we now stop having to deal with that moment when we walk into a room and wonder if it’s OK to be gay. It is important for young people and teenagers to never even fear it. I grew up hiding it. Maybe the next generation won’t have to.”
Jennifer agreed: “It’s out in the open now. It’s not some behind-closed-doors conversation anymore.” – Interviews by Fiona West, photos by Nooha Masri.