Fraser Coast LGBT+ community slam SSM postal vote
JAY Mitchell has been in a relationship with her partner Emma for more than six years. She pays her taxes, has three children and has a loving family.
Despite all this, she's still not allowed to formally get married.
Adding insult to injury, Ms Mitchell will have her own right to get married decided by people she's never met, after the Federal Government announced their postal vote on same sex marriage this week.
And its gotten her mad.
"It's rubbish; it's just creating a lot more hate," Ms Mitchell said.
"We've spent years fighting that hate and now the government is jumping on the bandwagon with the postal vote.
She said it was "frustrating" knowing despite being in a civil union with her partner since May, she still wasn't legally able to say she was her wife.
"It's frustrating to... not be recognised," Ms Mitchell said.
"We moved here from the city, so it's hard to transition in a same-sex relationship.
"Almost every day I have to come out; I'm too afraid to call my partner 'my wife.'
"It constantly feels like I have to validate myself."
Ms Mitchell is one of hundreds of LGBTIQA+ Fraser Coast residents who share similar feelings to the postal vote on same sex marriage.
Ms Mitchell fears for the mental health of younger LGBTIQA+ community members, who face "massive issues" with their mental health.
She also fears her children will be forced to see homophobic messages brought out by the community.
It's a sentiment echoed by Fraser Gays spokesperson Sally Cripps, who said people who have never encountered the region's LGBTIQA+ community will have negative impressions of them from the postal vote 'no' campaign.
"The fact the rest of the country has to decide on whether we should be allowed to get married or not is a joke," Ms Cripps said.
"The way we see it, we're the same as everyone else in this country.
"We shouldn't have to go to all this trouble for our rights."
Australia is set to vote after the Senate voted down the changes to the government's second plebiscite 31-31.
Are you for or against gay marriage in Australia?
This poll ended on 31 December 2017.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
So far, both of the region's federal members have indicated their support for the postal vote, with Hinkler MP Keith Pitt saying the Coalition was delivering on a commitment "taken to the 2016 election."
Mr Pitt, who does not support same-sex marriage, said his position hadn't changed.
"Every voter in the electorate will get the chance to have their say in the postal plebiscite, I will be actively encouraging them all to do just that," Mr Pitt said.
Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said most people were capable of contributing to a "respectful, mature and responsible conversation about marriage equality."
"For those who are not, I will call them out," Mr O'Brien said.