Standing for equality: Parents in advertising campaign seek Yes vote in marriage poll

LENDING A HAND: Nick and Frances Hansen are appearing in the national advertising campaign in support of marriage equality. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0908jkequality2
LENDING A HAND: Nick and Frances Hansen are appearing in the national advertising campaign in support of marriage equality. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0908jkequality2

With marriage equality postal survey forms to begin arriving in Bathurst letterboxes Tuesday one Central West couple has a simple message.

Vote Yes.

Nick and Frances Hansen’s son Tim is gay.

They have witnessed first hand the difficulties and dilemmas Tim has faced in accepting and adapting to his lifestyle and sexuality.

A former student at Charles Sturt University, Tim says he was bullied on a daily basis at school in Orange and was openly abused on a busy Bathurst street.

Mr and Mrs Hansen have now participated in a national advertising campaign calling for a Yes vote to support all people having marriage equality to repair injustices.

“The Yes vote will change an unfair law,” Nick Hansen said.

Mr Hansen said 10 per cent of the population were denied the rights to marriage allowed to the other 90 per cent simply because of their sexuality.

“It’s an injustice we see for a minority group.

“Lots of minority groups don’t have the same rights.”

He said the postal survey, which does not bind the government to change the law, was not ideal but at least it was democratic.

“We would prefer if the government just voted on it,” he said.

“I personally think it is a good thing that the Australian people can have a say.

“Sexuality shouldn’t define anyone, I hope everyone votes Yes.”

Mrs Hansen said the denial of the right had serious consequences for affected people and the whole community.

“Our society would be a lot happier if people were allowed to marry,” she said.

“Across the board we would have a lot more people who would be happy.

“In the past they have not been allowed to be themselves.”

Last week the High Court ruled in favour of the postal vote going ahead.

Voting papers on marriage equality will be sent to all eligible voters, about 16 million people, from Tuesday.

The vote is not compulsory and it is up to you whether you vote.

You have until 6pm on November 7 to post your survey answer.

However, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is encouraging people to return their forms by October 27.

The result is set to be announced on November 15. 

If the Yes vote wins parliament is likely to vote on the issue by December 7.