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Oldest gay couple in Australia now planning wedding
A couple who’s known to be Australia’s oldest gay couple are planning their wedding, after the nation voted in favour of same-sex marriage.
Australians voted in a non-binding postal survey on marriage equality, which returned an overwhelming 61.6% in favor.
Now politicians just need to push a bill through parliament and Australians will be able to legally marry.
But straight after the results came out, Arthur Cheeseman, 85, and John Challis, 89 got to work on planning their wedding.
The couple met in 1967 at an art gallery event and have been together for 50 years.
Same-sex marriage is expected to be legal by Christmas this year so the couple plan to get married in January.
‘The survey was a mistake but nevertheless, it produced a good result,’ Challis told the ABC. ‘[We’ll get married] without any fuss, just quietly.
‘We’ll probably go down to the registry office with a couple of friends… or I’ve got a friend who’s registered to celebrate marriages, he might come here for a cup of coffee one morning and we’ll get some witnesses.
‘Very simple, that’s it.
‘I’ve got a 90th birthday coming up next year. We might combine it with that,’ he said.
‘[The vote] gives us new dignity’
As it currently stands, same-sex couples can register their relationships as de facto. But this was not enough for Cheeseman and Challis, in regards to their superannuation.
Challis explained: ‘One of the important things for us is to have this marriage certificate because it affects the way our superannuation could play out.
‘[This vote] gives us new dignity, a new status, and a new place in society.
‘We are the same as everyone else,’ Challis added.
The pair gave an interview five years ago when both major Australian political leaders didn’t support marriage equality.