Resort prepared for a honeymoon period
AUSTRALIA’S only Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ) resort is ready to start booking weddings and elopements if the same-sex marriage vote is ‘yes’ on Wednesday.
Turtle Cove Resort, about 46km north of Cairns, has been a popular destination with gay and lesbian visitors from around the globe for the past 24 years and is now waiting in anticipation of a new era.
The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey forms were sent to all eligible Australians in September and closed this week, costing the Federal Government $122 million.
Now just four days away from the result in parliament, Turtle Cove Resort has created same-sex marriage ceremony, reception and elopement pack- ages that are ready to book.
Ilya Artemenko from Russia and Alexander Grishyn from Ukraine recently moved to Cairns and are eagerly waiting Wednesday’s verdict.
Mr Artemenko said they planned to settle in Australia and were hoping to get married if the same-sex marriage plebiscite was successful.
“When we got here we weren’t aware that Australia didn’t have marriage equality,” Mr Artemenko said. “To be able to live, work, settle down and get married here would be the whole package.”
Resort marketing manager Mike Evans said Turtle Cove had always held LGBTIQ commitment ceremonies, but to have a wedding officially acknowledged by Parliament would be a significant moment.
“The same-sex marriage survey is momentous and we don’t want couples to have to wait a moment longer to get married,” he said.
“Should the survey provide a ‘yes’ vote, we’re ready to host ceremonies and receptions of any size at Turtle Cove.
“We have always catered for LGBTIQ commitment ceremonies but there’s a good chance this week that many couples will get to make it official, which is amazing and long overdue.”
He said he couldn’t think of a better place to exchange vows.
HAPPY COUPLE: Ilya Artemenko and Alexander Grishyn at Turtle Cove. They are hoping to get married if the same-sex marriage plebiscite is successful. Picture: ANNA ROGERS