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YES RESULT: 'Truly exciting' moment celebrated in Lismore

Kate Willock and Christine Minkov embrace in relief and celebration as it is announced the plebiscite came back as a yes vote.
Kate Willock and Christine Minkov embrace in relief and celebration as it is announced the plebiscite came back as a yes vote. Marc Stapelberg

Update 11.55am: TODAY'S same sex marriage vote result is a "truly exciting moment", says Southern Cross University Professor of Social Work Mark Hughes.

"The result of the marriage equality survey sends a powerful message, particularly to young people," he said.

"If same-sex marriage is legislated and - importantly - no new discriminations are added through pressure from conservatives, then the future looks much brighter for our LGBTI communities.

"Nonetheless, even at this time of celebration it is important to remember that marriage equality is only one part of the puzzle that needs to be resolved to promote the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of LGBTI people.

"We need to continue to address and research the other major disparities these people face compared with the general population including: higher rates of psychological distress, anxiety, depression and loneliness among LGBTI communities, higher rates of particular physical health problems among lesbians and gay men, the extraordinarily high rates of discrimination experienced by transgender and gender diverse people, and the harmful medical practices that intersex people continue to face.

"The marriage equality debate has shone a light on those in same-sex relationships, but it is important to acknowledge that many LGBTI people are not in relationships - and indeed are more likely not to be in relationships compared to the general population - and that for these people rates of psychological distress and loneliness are particularly high.

"Now is a time to celebrate but not to become complacent in continuing to work towards equality."

 

Update, 11.10am: ORGANISER of today's event and member of the Northern Rivers LGBTIQ Alliance Ruth Rosenhek said she was extremely happy but also feeling mixed emotions after hearing the plebisicite result.

"I'm really emotional actually, I guess I feel really excited and exuberant but also I think the release of the tension at the same time," she said.

"This is such a beautiful community and the way allies have come together with LGBTIQ community is a really amazing phenomenon to be a part of in rural NSW."

She said for her this contentious debate was always a human rights issue.

"We should have the right to get married," Ms Rosenhek said.

"I am aware of the conflicting bills that they are going to put in so I am hoping Malcolm Turnbull will somehow step into a leadership role with this."

"Let's get it done so we can get onto real business in this country."

Ms Rosenhek said she feels Senator James Paterson's Bill is a step back in what should be a huge step forward in Australian history.

"What's that saying you give with one hand and take with the other, we've seen the Australian population wants this and at the same time somebody tried to repeal certain anti-discrimination laws that we have."

 

Update, 11am: THE crowds at Lismore Quad were elated today to find out Australia voted yes with a 61.6% majority.

Former Mayor Jenny Dowell was on the microphone when the announcement was made and said she couldn't be more excited to celebrate this fantastic result.

"It's an affirmation for our community that the rest of Australia supports them in their love choices," she said.

"Now it is up to the parliament to just get on with it."

Mrs Dowell said she cannot wait to now be invited to a legitimate same sex marriage in Australia having already been to an reanactment.

"To see people here with tears running down their faces as they embrace their partner of decades shows you this isn't just a piece of paper, it's deeply deeply personal for so many people and none of us should stand in the way of that."

 

Update 10.30am: FORMER Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said the "strong yes vote" was just the start.

"Now it's up to our Parliament to do what they said they would do," she told the gathering in Lismore this morning.

"They have the power to bring in marriage equality before Christmas.

"We will hold them to it.

"There are people in this community who have waited years and years ... decades.

"Won't Lismore go wild when we have our first same sex marriage?"

 

Wednesday 10.13am: THIS is how we voted.

Page: 59.7 per cent (55,943) voted yes and 40.3 per cent (37,727) voted no .

Richmond: 67.9 per cent (62,591) voted yes and 32.1 per cent (29,625) voted no. 

All states voted yes to marriage equality.

NSW registered the lowest yes vote in the country, but still held a majority yes with 57.8 per cent voting yes.

 

Wednesday 10.00am: The results are in. Australia has voted  yes in the historic marriage equality vote.

David Kalisch from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has just announced the result.

61.6 per cent , 7,187,247 people voted yes out of more than 12 million people voted yes.

That is 8 out of ten people voting in the survey.

 

Wednesday 9.47am: A SEA of people in block colours of the rainbow are gathering in the Lismore Quad this morning, anxiously awaiting the results of the marriage equality postal vote.

Clare Urquhart said her stomach was churning as the final verdict vastly approaches.

"I'm a little bit apprehensive, obviously excited but a little bit angry we had to go through this in the first place," Ms Urquhart said.

She said it will be really fantastic to finally have equality.

"My partner and I have been together for 26 years so finally we can have that marriage equality and maybe even get married."

The couple said they came down to the Quad this morning to show support and be amongst everyone.

"You know whatever the outcome it's great to be supported by everyone, hugs and kisses and all that sort of stuff."

The gathering was organised by the Northern Rivers LGBTIQ to hear the result.

Former Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said they would "stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who want marriage equality for themselves."

Topics:  lismore marriage equality northern rivers politics postal vote


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