THE WIMMERA’S LGBTQI community is elated the majority of the region’s voters support marriage equality.
The Wimmera Pride Project invited the LGBTQI community and supporter to gather for the announcement on Wednesday.
With two minutes until the announcement, the television was turned up and the room fell to silent to hear the result.
The nerves were high and tension built as the statistician drew out the final result, reading aloud the survey’s figures. When the yes majority was announced, the group was filled with relief and clapped at the outcome.
Tears of happiness were shed and selfies were then taken for sharing to social media accounts to mark the historic moment in Australian history.
Wimmera Pride Project co-founder Loucas Vettos said hearing the result of the same-sex marriage postal survey was an emotional moment.
Mr Vettos said he was confident for a ‘yes’ majority leading up to the announcement. However, he said listening to Australia Bureau of Statistics head statistician David Kalisch read out the figures was nerve-wracking.
“The statistician was going through everything and I just wanted him to tell us yes or no – what has Australia voted for us?” he said.
Once the ‘yes’ majority was announced, Mr Vettos was jubilant.
“I had a few tears, but it was happy tears so it is all good,” he said.
Mr Vettos hopes federal parliament will act quickly to reflect the Australian public’s view in law.
Wimmera Pride Project co-founder Maddi Ostapiw said she was elated when she heard the outcome.
While she expected the result to be yes, she was wary leading up to the announcement.
“I was very cautious with Trump and Brexit and the non-compulsory votes recently – it was a scary idea that it could be a no, but I had a lot of faith in the Australian public,” she said.
Moving forward, Ms Ostapiw said the community needed to be mindful of proposed bills that contained several religious exemptions.
“Marriage equality isn’t true marriage equality unless we receive the full respect of the Australian public,” she said.
“We need to make sure the advocates for the LGBTQI community in parliament are doing everything they can to get the right bill through and the right legislation passed.”
Ms Ostapiw said member for Member for Mallee Andrew Broad had promised to vote in accordance with his electorate.
More than 54 per cent of Mallee voters voted in favour of marriage equality.
“We have known for a long time that he is a no voter,” Ms Ostapiw said.
“I think it is an honourable thing even if it isn’t your personal opinion to vote on behalf of the majority in your electorate.
“We are looking forward to him voting yes on the legislation that passes and putting his approval behind marriage equality for the constituents who voted him into power.”