Wollongong’s rainbow lighthouse ‘a beacon of hope’ for marriage survey result

A beacon of hope: Equality campaigner Simon Zulian hopes the rainbow colours on Wollongong's breakwater lighthouse will shine the way for Wednesday's survey results. Picture: Sylvia Liber.
A beacon of hope: Equality campaigner Simon Zulian hopes the rainbow colours on Wollongong's breakwater lighthouse will shine the way for Wednesday's survey results. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

By 10am on Wednesday, we will know how the nation voted in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ same-sex marriage poll.

For many of the citizens whose rights have been subject to a divisive national survey which has carried on since August, it’s been an anxious wait.

“I’m very nervous about the survey,” Russell Vale resident Richard Martin said, watching as Wollongong’s breakwater lighthouse turned shades of rainbow as a final show of support on Tuesday night.

“Our fellow human beings have been put through some horrendous treatment since the survey has been going.

“I just want to be treated as equal, because I’ve gone through most of my life not being treated as an equal and I think that’s unfair and unjust – so I’m hoping for a yes result, but with all the polls about Trump and Brexit, who knows.”

Likewise, result day brings both relief and trepidation for Lake Heights resident and business leader Wendy Meyers.

“The last couple of months – and our relationships being up for everyone’s discussion – has been traumatic, so I’m looking forward to it coming to an end,” she said.

“A yes result would mean a bit of a celebration of the 15 to 20 year journey where we’ve been talking about same-sex relationship equality – so it will be about having a breather.”

Across the region, Yes campaigners will gather to watch as the result is made public.

Ms Meyers will join with staff and students at the University of Wollongong in the Unibar, in what she hopes will be a chance to support and celebrate with friends and members of the community.

“This is especially important for me as an older lesbian, to support young people, because they have actually been quite traumatised by this,” she said.

Elsewhere, many of the region’s politicians will gather in Wollongong at Sharon Bird’s electoral office, while a larger group of equality campaigners will meet at Little Joe’s Bar in Dapto in the evening.

Starting from 10am, Wednesday’s results will be broken down in a variety of ways including federal electorate and in age brackets.

Find updates at www.illawarramercury.com.au