Queanbeyan reacts to same sex marriage survey

Members of the Queanbeyan community showed their support for marriage equality earlier this year. Photo: Supplied
Members of the Queanbeyan community showed their support for marriage equality earlier this year. Photo: Supplied

Queanbeyan played its part in returning an overwhelming yes vote in the same sex marriage survey.

The results were delivered on Wednesday morning with majority support of the law being changed to allow same sex marriage.

Of the almost 80 per cent of people that returned a survey nationally, 61.6 per cent of people responded yes and 38.4 per cent responded no.

In Eden-Monaro the yes vote jumped to 64.9 per cent, much higher than the NSW figure of the 57.8 per cent.

This particularly pleased federal member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly who said it was a testament to the open-mindedness and accepting nature of people in the region.

Amanda Cook (far right) with her partner Natasha and their son Callum. Photo: Supplied

Amanda Cook (far right) with her partner Natasha and their son Callum. Photo: Supplied

“I’m really intensely proud of Eden-Monaro today,” Dr Kelly said.

“It’s an overwhelming result, very much amongst the highest ‘Yes’ votes in the entire nation.

“It just says so much for the intelligence and good will and community spirit that exist here, that people cut through all of the misinformation and advertising to form an intelligent and rational decision.”

He added it was up to the parliament now to respect the voice of the people and legislate for marriage equality.

Someone who echoed Dr Kelly’s remarks was Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson who admitted to feeling very emotional as he watched the announcement of the results.

Mr Wilson, whose brother has been in a same-sex relationship for over 20 years and had to travel to Canada to be married, was a keen advocate locally for the cause.

“A lot of people have lived as not quite the same as everyone else for so long and the vast majority of Australians have shown they support everyone’s right to marriage,” Mr Wilson said.

“The no campaign ran as hard as they could and as negatively as they could and they conflated a lot of issues, that went well beyond marriage.

“I’m very proud of our community and proud of those that came together for our little rally on a cold, wet and windy day.”

Similarly he added he hoped the federal parliament would not dawdle on legalising same sex marriage.

Jerrabomberra resident Amanda Cook, who is in a same sex relationship, said she was quietly confident the parliament would honour their commitment.

“The numbers have given the message of the people and any politician who would take away that chance would be very brave to do so because those people will decide their fate down the track,” Ms Cook said.

More than anything though Ms Cook said she was thrilled with Wednesday’s result because it validated Australia as accepting of different cultures, religions and sexualities.

“I think a lot of people are probably walking around feeling a lot more accepted,” she said.

“To be an adult we make decisions on everything in our lives, this is just another thing everyone should be able to make a decision on and have the choice to do that.”

Despite Ms Cook and her partner having no immediate plans to get married she said she was hoping to be invited to some same sex weddings and added businesses might be misguided if they intended to turn back same sex couples.

“They would be crazy to say no,” she said.

“Think of the flowers, the food, the champagne, they would be some of the most flamboyant weddings - I’m just hoping I get an invite!”