Anx­ious wait in pi­azza for poll re­sult

The West Australian - - NEWS - Bethany Hi­att

If the polls are cor­rect and the Yes vote is suc­cess­ful, gay cou­ple Paul Benson and Shane Cu­cow will be “thrilled and re­lieved” their re­la­tion­ship could fi­nally be recog­nised in Aus­tralia.

The pair, who have been to­gether for nine years, plan to be among the crowd gath­ered at North­bridge Pi­azza this morn­ing to hear the re­sults of the national postal sur­vey on same­sex mar­riage.

Mr Benson, 40, said nei­ther he nor Mr Cu­cow, 30, had let them­selves think too far ahead about how they might re­act.

“What­ever hap­pens, it’s go­ing to be very emo­tional,” he said.

Even though they ex­changed mar­riage vows in New Zealand three years ago, Mr Benson said they hoped to be able to in­vite fam­ily and friends to an­other wed­ding in Aus­tralia if Fed­eral politi­cians passed a Bill to le­galise gay mar­riage.

“We’d be plan­ning on do­ing it again prop­erly,” he said. “The thing about our last one was . . . hardly any­one could be there.”

Mr Benson said he had spent week­nights and week­ends cam­paign­ing for the Yes vote while the sur­vey has been open, door­knock­ing and man­ning phones.

“It’s been a real mix­ture be­cause there has been such venom from peo­ple who don’t even know me,” he said. “On the other side, there’s also been sup­port from sources I would never have ex­pected.”

Pic­ture: Danella Be­vis

Shane Cu­cow and Paul Benson would like to marry in Aus­tralia.

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