YES OR NO?
A NATION FINDS OUT ITS TRUE COLOURS: PAGE 3
FOR Graeme East and his partner Dean, the marriage equality vote isn’t just a vote, it’s an important step in allowing them to formally recognise their 15-year relationship with marriage.
Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will announce the results of their same-sex marriage vote, which Mr East hopes will be a resounding “yes”.
“If the opinion polls are to be believed, we will get a vote in excess of 60%,” he said.
Despite his hope for a “yes” vote, Mr East is worried about how the federal politicians will treat the vote.
“Some of them have said they will vote how their electorate votes,” he said.
Having been together for longer than a lot of marriages, Mr East said he and his parter want to have their relationship recognised formally.
“We’ve hated the whole process,” he said. “We’re opposed to having this survey, it’s non-compulsory, non-binding and a complete waste of money, and it’s provided a platform for people to say nasty things.
“But we felt obliged to go public with our personal story.
“We wrote a note to about 200 households in our area sharing our story.
“It was asking for people to support us, and it was something we shouldn’t have had to do, but we felt we owed to the younger people coming through.”
Mr East said they didn’t hear anything negative from their neighbours, with a few people they didn’t expect saying they’d support them.
“I happened to be across the road talking to people in their 90s, and the chap stood up, shook my hand and said we have their support,” he said.
“It’s saying no to something if you don’t know any gay people, but it’s confronting when you’re talking about the couple across the road who life a normal life.”
Mr East added he is concerned about the politicians trying to add amendments to the vote.
“The people voted on a simple question, not all of this other nonsense about weeding cakes and the safe school program, and that’s what this vote should be.”
Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, still stands by his decision to vote according to the result.
He added that despite the issues plaguing parliament right now, including the citizenship issues, the same-sex marriage vote will not be pushed aside.
“If the result is yes, the plan is for a bill to come before parliament and passed before Christmas,” he said.
VITAL: Dean Valerio and Graeme East.