An Sydney octogenerian couple have spoken of their plans to finally marry after Wednesday’s “yes” result.
John Challis and Arthur Cheeseman, aged 89 and 85, have been together for five decades and said they’re planning a low-key ceremony for the new year.
“Without any fuss, just very quietly,” he told ABC Radio.
“We’ll probably go down to the registry office with a couple of friends later next year, or I’ve got a friend who’s a marriage celebrant.
“He might come around for a cup of coffee one morning, and we’ll get some witnesses.”
Challis said the postal survey was “a mistake” but the positive result gave them “a new dignity, a new status, a new place in society.”
“We are the same as everyone else,” he said.
“It’s not only endorsing gay marriage, it’s endorsing gay and lesbian people.
“One of the important things for us is to have the marriage certificate because it affects the way in which our superannuation could play out.”
The federal parliament is expected to pass a law legalising same-sex marriage by the end of the year, after 61.6% of Australians voted to back the reform.
He said the “no” voters would “gradually find out it’s not the end of civilisation.”
“It’s not going to change society in these terrible ways that people like Tony Abbott have been predicting,” he said.
“The vote has been quite clear, there’s been a lot of exaggeration around questions of religious freedom and those kinds of things.
“Just vote for the Dean Smith bill and get on with it.”