Celebrant now free to marry

FOR years, Australind funeral celebrant Amanda Lovitt refused to apply for a marriage licence – not even to marry her own son – until all couples had an equal right to marry.

Yesterday a $122 million plebiscite revealed 61.6 per cent of Australians voted in favour of allowing same sex couples to marry.

The Forrest Electoral Division saw 78.9 per cent of residents participate in the survey, with 63.8 per cent returning a ‘yes’ vote compared to a 36.2 per cent ‘no’ vote.

Forrest’s percentage of ‘yes’ votes was higher than the national average and on par with the State’s average of 63.7 per cent.

Mrs Lovitt said since the result was announced, she had already researched whether she needed any additional qualifications to get her marriage licence.

“I am such a firm believer in marriage equality, I dug my heels in and said that until I could marry anybody, I wouldn’t marry anybody,” Mrs Lovitt said.

“I knocked back getting my licence to marry my son because of how strongly I felt.” Mrs Lovitt, who has been married to her husband for 32 years, said she felt “relieved, happy and justified” when she heard the news.

Forrest MHR Nola Marino said she would vote for same-sex marriage in parliament.

“I strongly supported a public vote on same-sex marriage and this was the party’s position at the last election,” she said.

“I said I will respect the result, and given that 63.8 per cent of people in Forrest voted yes, and the national result, I will be voting for same-sex marriage in parliament.

“I understand the concerns about religious freedoms, but I will ensure they will also be protected.” Bunbury city councillor and marriage equality rally organiser Joel McGuinness said he was “stoked with the result” and now after the months of debate it was time to “get on with it”.

Source: South Western Times.