LOVE WINS: Carmel Bowkett and Cara Trollope are celebrating the news majority of Australians voted Yes in the same-sex marriage survey.
LOVE WINS: Carmel Bowkett and Cara Trollope are celebrating the news majority of Australians voted Yes in the same-sex marriage survey. Inge Hansen

Same-sex couple wait for 11 years

CARMEL Bowett and Cara Trollope have been engaged for 10 years.

Throughout their 11-year relationship, the couple have dreamed of marriage.

On Wednesday, the couple squeezed hands as they watched history unfold on television when it was announced the majority of Australians voted Yes in the same-sex marriage survey.

"We were just sitting on the couch when we heard and we were ecstatic and extremely emotional," Ms Bowett said.

"We've had an overwhelming amount of support from our family and friends and people congratulating us."

The couple met in Dalby while they were working and when they moved to Hervey Bay nine years ago, they began working together.

OPINION: The best gift of all to same-sex couples

Of the 12.7 million Australians who voted, 7,817,247 (61.6 per cent) voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

Despite an overwhelming Yes response from Australia as a whole, the Wide Bay and Hinkler electorates were less enthusiastic.

About 55.6 per cent of people in Wide Bay voted yes while 50.7 per cent voted Yes and 49.3 per cent said No in Hinkler.

The final participation rate was 79.5 per cent of eligible voters.

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Ms Bowett said since the survey was announced two months ago, the process had been "really hard".

"We have realised how much ignorance is still out there but we get a lot of support as well," she said.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced same-sex couples should be able to marry by December.

"It may have been 61 per cent who voted yes in the survey, but I want to say all LGBTIQ Australians you are 100 per cent loved, 100 per cent valued, and after the next two weeks of Parliament, 100 per cent able to marry the person that you love," he said.

The Hervey Bay couple agreed it would be "the best Christmas present we've ever received".

Ms Bowett has three children from a previous marriage, two boys and one girl.

The couple have made their love clear to the world erecting two signs outside their house saying "Yes" and "#Lovewins".

As for marriage, the couple plan to marry within the next two years with a country or beach wedding in mind. In the meantime, they plan to celebrate with a glass of bubbly surrounded by friends and family.



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