Riverina couple set to marry after same-sex marriage win

One Riverina couple will legally marry as soon as they can afford a wedding. 

I DO: Riverina men Richard Brewer and Justin Bennett will soon be able to legally marry.

I DO: Riverina men Richard Brewer and Justin Bennett will soon be able to legally marry.

But no matter when Richard Brewer and Justin Bennett take their vows – and have the Bollywood style wedding they hope for –it will soon be recognised as a valid union across Australia. 

It follows years of marriage-equality campaigns, months awaiting postal survey results, days of parliamentary sittings and hours of a seemingly-endless debate. 

The long-awaited passing of the same-sex marriage laws took place in the House of Representatives on Thursday night. 

Mr Brewer is one of many Australian residents celebrating the monumental moment in history. 

“It means a hell of a load to a lot of people, including me,” Mr Brewer said. “I’m glad (politicians) have seen sense … Yahoo.”

Despite the win, he said it should not have come to this. 

“At the end of the day, it’s about equality,” Mr Brewer said. “I’m not about forcing people to take on my belief systems, but it’s not up to anyone else.”

After 15-years together, Mr Brewer and Mr Bennett will wait until the bill is given royal assent and officially legalised before popping the big question. 

“I feel very overwhelmed,” Mr Brewer said.

“We’ll be able to have the marriage that we’ve always dreamed of and be with our partners in a legal sense.”

The 38-year-old in May announced the pair were planning Griffith’s first gay Bollywood wedding, whether parliament passed the same-sex marriage law or not. 

“We shouldn’t have had to wait,” Mr Brewer said. “It should be something that just is.”

Blown away at the result, Rainbow Rainbow member Kat van der Wijngaart said the marriage equality win was a long-time coming. 

“It’s been a long fight,” Ms van der Wijngaart said.

“So many people have sacrificed so much for this result … a result that will bring real equality to people like my daughter.”

The Wagga woman said it was a fight to the end, with hurtful things being said, but the will of the people had been respected. 

“Everyone got to have their say – it’s not the way we wanted it to happen but we can’t be anything more than overjoyed,” she said.  

“Celebrations are coming.”

Changing the law still requires royal assent, but Ms van der Wijngaart said “it’s as good as done”. 


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