Benjamin Oh and Nam Phan have been together 13 years. On the day the Yes result on same-sex marriage was delivered, the couple encouraged Australians to rebuild relationships that may have been wounded during the divisive campaign.
A same-sex couple from Sydney has urged fellow Australians to work towards a kinder society on the same day the country was told it had delivered a majority Yes vote in the postal survey.
Their pleas come after the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that 61.6 per cent of respondents had voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.
“I think it means Australia has chosen to be a kinder society, chosen love over fear and hate,” Benjamin Oh told SBS News.
Mr Oh has been in a relationship with his partner Nam Phan for 13 years. The pair are parents to their seven-month-old daughter An.
Before Wednesday’s announcement, the couple told SBS News that they had witnessed a lot of negativity and hatred during the same-sex marriage vote campaign.
“It will be nice for it to be all over, it’s been quite long and difficult,” Mr Phan said at the time.
The couple joined thousands at Prince Alfred Park, in Sydney’s CBD to watch ABS statistician David Kalisch announce the result.
Mr Kalisch revealed the Yes vote had prevailed - providing an overwhelming feeling of relief for the couple.
However, the pair believed the result was an opportunity to mend some of the hurt that had been experienced during the three-month campaign.
“I think a lot of bridges need to be rebuilt,” Mr Oh said.
“Throughout this process... people of colour, people of religious background faced discrimination from those on the ‘no’ campaign.
“So now it’s a time for reflection and a time to heal and a time to reach out to one another and be a kinder country, without discrimination.
“This entire process was constructed and wanted by people who did not want us to be equal," he continued.
“Yet against all the odds, Australia has voted resoundingly against it, so well done, well done Australia.”
When asked whether he thought the LBGTIQ community will be seen differently from here, Mr Phan said: “It will change slowly over time.”