Koroit woman Jackie Wallis felt a “massive relief” when she realised she would finally be able to legally marry her partner of four years, Shayne Cox.
Ms Wallis said she was overwhelmed watching the federal parliament pass laws allowing same-sex marriage on her TV on Thursday evening, with the gallery breaking into a rendition of ‘We Are Australian’.
“I guess it was a foregone conclusion, but for it to have finally gone through was incredibly emotional, especially when the gallery got up and started singing” she said.
Ms Wallis said she was waiting for the moment all day, but was pleased her partner, Ms Cox, had arrived home from work so they could experience it together.
“I was actually surprised by how overwhelmed I was,” she said.
“It has been such a horrible messy battle. It’s just been so hurtful over the past few months.
“The politicians finally did their job.
“I would like to thank family, friends and everybody who has suffered such a process that it’s finally all over.”
The couple declared their love to each other in front of family and friends at a ceremony in Koroit last August, but now they will finally be able to validate their commitment legally sometime early next year.
Same-sex couples will be able to marry from January 9, with a month required for a notice of intended marriage lodgement.
Ms Wallis said when she was younger, it bothered her that she couldn’t get married but she thought “well, there is something wrong with me … that’s my lot in life”.
“As I’ve gotten older and crankier and started working with young LGBTI young people, I said to Shayne last night, ‘I now feel like an equal Australian’.
“This does validate to everyone that there is nothing wrong with you.”