Love is big busi­ness

Coast duo cross ditch to walk down the aisle

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - SUZANNE SIMONOT suzanne.simonot@news.com.au

AS a small-busi­ness owner him­self, proud Gold Coaster An­thony Ikin would have loved to see the lo­cal econ­omy reap the fi­nan­cial spoils of his up­com­ing wed­ding.

More than 120 guests will fly in from around the world to watch Ikin and his “soul­mate” Peter Cun­ning­ham get hitched on May 18 – at a win­ery on Wai­heke Is­land, off Auck­land, New Zealand.

Dance teacher and chore­og­ra­pher Ikin, brother of for­mer Bris­bane Bron­cos star Ben Ikin, pro­posed to TV pro­ducer Cun­ning­ham in New York in March – long be­fore the same-sex mar­riage postal bal­lot was an­nounced.

The re­sult of the bal­lot will be an­nounced at 9am to­day.

“It’s been such a hot topic for so many years and noth­ing gets done so when I thought of propos­ing to Pete, my soul­mate and life part­ner, my num­ber one thing was stuff Aus­tralia – we’re go­ing to do it any­way,” Ikin said.

“We have the full sup­port of our par­ents and friends but the plebiscite made me think about how much the de­bate is af­fect­ing peo­ple.”

Ikin is con­fi­dent the yes cam­paign will win but says the road to recog­ni­tion has been long and chal­leng­ing.

“Fin­gers are crossed it’s a yes but be­ing judged isn’t fun – that’s what it is, judg­ing whether same-sex part­ner­ships are wor­thy or equal.”

Ikin said vic­tory in the elec­toral poll would help ad­dress the in­equal­ity ex­pe­ri­enced by the LGBTIQ com­mu­nity.

“It’s a step for­ward for some­thing I’ve been wait­ing for for a re­ally long time.”

If same-sex mar­riage does be­come le­gal here, Ikin and Cun­ning­ham plan to say “I do” again – on home soil.

“Pete’s par­ents have a beau­ti­ful farm with an­i­mals and a killer view in Maleny, so it would most prob­a­bly be there,” Ikin said.

“What I am plan­ning now though is my bucks party on the GC – a rooftop bar hop.”

Pic­ture: MIKE BAT­TER­HAM

Peter Cun­ning­ham and An­thony Ikin will get mar­ried in New Zealand year – but al­ready plan to say ‘I do’ again in Aus­tralia if same-sex mar­riage be­comes le­gal.

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