Region's same-sex marriage supporters celebrate positive result

YES WINS: Former Quipolly man Zarrad James has welcomed the same-sex marriage survey result.

YES WINS: Former Quipolly man Zarrad James has welcomed the same-sex marriage survey result.

THE region’s supporters of same-sex marriage are celebrating the result of the postal survey, with the yes side getting up with 61.6 per cent of the vote.

It was a sleepless night on Tuesday night as Quipolly’s Zarrad James waited for the decision to be handed down. 

The 19-year-old has been with his partner for two years.

“It’s just a relief,” he said.

“Now we all get treated equally.

“When I came out, I had it pretty easy, I was accepted, but others weren’t really accepted.

“But this means we’re treated equally now.

“We’re not second-class citizens because that’s what we were.”

Mr James plans to celebrate the good news at the gay and lesbian nightclub, Arq in Sydney, at a massive Yes party.

“I had trouble sleeping last night,” he said.

“We all should be treated equally.

“People come here to be treated equal and for freedom, so this is amazing.”

In the Parkes electorate, the yes vote got up by 52.7 per cent.

GREAT RESULT: Local couple Lucy McCowen and Sarah Mayo are celebrating the same-sex marriage result. Photo: Peter Hardin

GREAT RESULT: Local couple Lucy McCowen and Sarah Mayo are celebrating the same-sex marriage result. Photo: Peter Hardin

Tamworth’s Sarah Mayo was “incredibly overwhelmed” when Fairfax spoke to her straight after the announcement.

“I had a few people watching it with me and everyone was very excited – a few hugs went around,” she said, laughing.

“I woke up this morning very nervous and before the live stream I was very anxious.

“I’m so overwhelmed, excited and thankful it was a yes. I’m happy to go forth and see what comes of it.”

In the New England electorate, the yes vote got up by 52.5 per cent.

“I think for our area I was hoping it would be a bit higher, but it;s also a positive above the 50 mark,” Ms Mayo said.

“It means we are speaking up and coming forth.”

A bill still has to pass through parliament before the law is changed. There are fears from some that the government will renege on its promise to pass the law, as conservative MPs try to disrupt the bill

“I think they would be really, really stupid for them to do that,” Ms Mayo said.

“The public has voted in support of it, so to back away would be a huge mistake.

“I do worry what discrimination is put forward [in bill amendments]. We need our equal at end of day and this fights about.”

Allison Forbes

Allison Forbes

Tamworth country music singer Allison Forbes said there “may have been a few tears shed” as she watched the announcement live at Cafe 2340.

“We’ll definitely be celebrating with a few too many beverages tonight,” she said.

“I am really happy that so many people have had their say and I’m impressed by the number of people who voted.”

It’s been a “challenging” eight weeks, which was made easier by Ms Forbes’ support network.

“It certainly brought out comments and opinions we didn't realise we were surrounded by,” she said.

“But we’re looking on the positive side and hoping attitudes and acceptances might become more common now.”