Hundreds of supporters of same sex marriage gathered early at Perth’s Northbridge Piazza to celebrate Australia’s emphatic vote in favour of same-sex marriage.
Western Australia returned the second-highest Yes result among the states in the postal vote – third highest including the ACT – with 63.7 per cent in favour of same-sex marriage, despite its reputation as a conservative state.
Shannon Brugger, 22, was in tears as she hugged her partner Taylah Sewell, 22, shortly after loud, emotional cheers greeted a large screen announcing that 61.6 per cent of voters – or more than seven million people – voted Yes nationally.
Ms Sewell said the pair had been to rallies leading up to the vote and it had been a difficult period emotionally hearing what “the mass” of No voters were saying about the gay community.
Ms Brugger said the vote meant more than just being able to marry and she believed it took a change of law to change people minds, especially when so many were “set in their old ways”.
“We are also citizens, we’re not second class people, we are people just like anyone else and it shouldn’t be something that should be voted on really, there are so many more things you could have done with the money,” she told AAP.
Marziya Mohammedali said it was ridiculous people were not equal and a discussion was even being had about whether members of the LGBTI community should be allowed to marry whoever they want to.
“It is great to see the turnout, so many people turned up before 7am because this is important to a lot of us,” she said.
In the surrounding streets, same-sex couples cheered and walked hand-in-hand, including those on their way to work.
By 8am a large crowd had gathered at Perth’s The Court Hotel, known as a gay and lesbian bar, to celebrate.
A large banner saying LOVEWINS and depicting a gay and lesbian couple was hung from the hotel and a large rainbow adorned the entrance.