Same-sex com­mu­nity have fin­gers crossed

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - edi­to­rial@cairnspost.com.au face­book.com/TheCairn­sPost www.cairnspost.com.au twit­ter.com/TheCairn­sPost DANAELLA WIVELL danaella.wivell@news.com.au The postal sur­vey re­sults will be re­leased at 9am today.

MACHANS BEACH cou­ple Kathleen Burns and Elaine Spicer got mar­ried in 2005, 26 years af­ter they first met in Syd­ney.

De­spite a clear com­mit­ment to each other, they had to travel all the way to Canada to say “I do”.

They said it had been a long wait to see Aus­tralia adopt same-sex mar­riage laws and they had their fin­gers crossed for a pos­i­tive out­come today.

“We haven’t seen the leg­is­la­tion, so we’re not even sure if our mar­riage would be legally recog­nised here. If not, we’ll have to get the cer­tifi­cate re­done,” Dr Burns said.

Ms Spicer said dis­crim­ina- tion still faced many same-sex de facto cou­ples in the Far North, in­clud­ing in med­i­cal sit­u­a­tions where one per­son was stopped from mak­ing crit­i­cal de­ci­sions about their part­ner.

“Mar­riage, and be­ing equal, re­ally equal, makes such a dif­fer­ence in those sit­u­a­tions,” she said.

She said mem­bers of the Cairns LGBTIQ com­mu­nity were ready for the sur­vey re­sult to fi­nally be re­leased.

“The whole de­bate, al­though it’s been good in some ways in bring­ing the com­mu­nity to­gether, I think it was ter­ri­ble that they had to do this,” she said.

“It’s been re­ally up­set­ting for a lot of peo­ple. They’re get­ting a bit worn down by the con­stant dis­cus­sion.”

Pic­ture: BREN­DAN RADKE

ANX­IOUS WAIT: Machans Beach cou­ple Elaine Spicer and Kathleen Burns have been to­gether 38 years and can’t wait for today’s re­sult.

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