THANK YOU AUSTRALIA: Kiah Monk and Jessie Gilliland can now start planning their wedding.
THANK YOU AUSTRALIA: Kiah Monk and Jessie Gilliland can now start planning their wedding. Renee Albrecht

Grateful and surprised, Kiah and Jessie make wedding plans

A SIMPLE "yay” and then back to work might not be the most obvious way to celebrate an historic occasion, but it was perfect for Gympie couple Kiah Monk and Jessie Gilliland.

Described by Ms Monk as "your normal, average hard-working couple,” she said Thursday's vote to change the law for same sex marriage was important for the little things it gave them.

"Not having to navigate those legal minefields, such as making a decision for your partner if they are ill or incapacitated, just what every married couple has: equal rights,” Ms Monk said.

"There are government agencies... you have to prove you're in a de facto relationship, that now we can just provide a marriage certificate when it happens.”

Ms Gilliland said it was the little things that would now change that would mean the most.

"(It's) the ins and outs that people don't realise what it means to be married,” she said.

The biggest surprise of the plebiscite, Ms Gilliland said, was finding out that people did not always think the way you expected.

"It was also an eye-opener to find out which of your friends and family weren't for it, for all different reasons,” she said.

But still, "everybody's entitled to their own opinion”.

"The majority it came down to they just didn't understand what it meant to be married.”

While regional areas are sometimes labelled as more conservative, Ms Gilliland said Gympie was very supportive except for the "odd stare here and there”.

"We haven't really had anything,” she said.

Together for a year, the couple made the decision to get engaged six months ago in the hope Australia would voice its support.

And now that they can get married, they will focus on planning the finer details of that wedding.

Well, the location has at least been narrowed down. "Not in a church,” Ms Gilliland said.

Gympie Times


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