The 15th of November 2017 will go down in history as the day Australians overwhelmingly voted in favour of same-sex marriage. In fact, every state and territory recorded a yes.
While many of us heaved a collective sigh of relief that the LGBTIQ community were being given overwhelming support to be granted the same rights as everyone else, others were personally affected.
“I was so nervous before the vote was announced,” Mark told Now to Love.
“I had this horrible feeling it was going to be a ‘no’. I can’t explain how validating it was to feel all the love and support towards same-sex marriage.
“I already knew I wanted to propose to Andrew, 32, my partner of eleven months. When you meet ‘The One’, you just know it's right and we’d already discussed I’d be the one to pop the question.”
“We met at a music festival and it was the classic case of spotting each other from afar and locking eyes," Mark recalls. "We got serious almost immediately and moved in together in Melbourne.”
Andrew is a Kiwi so could already get legally married in New Zealand but it was important to Mark, who is originally from Lismore, New South Wales, to have the support of Australia too.
“We’re combining the Anzac spirit!” Mark laughs.
“The day the vote came through, we celebrated with a glass of champagne but he had no idea the real celebrations were still to come.”
Mark planned the perfect proposal for Andrew, using a unique set of helpers – Andrew’s polo team!
“Andrew’s friends are everything to him so I knew I wanted them to be part of the proposal. His sister was also in town so it was perfect timing. They had a polo game up on 16 November and I got the funny idea of getting the team to have ‘Marry Me’ emblazoned on their Speedos."
Well, nothing says ‘Straya’ like men in Speedos!
Mark sent Now to Love footage of the proposal and we're welling up all over again! You can watch the lovely proposal in full at the top.
It took a long time for our country to get here but finally we can hold our heads up in pride. We’re sorry the LGBTIQ community were subjected to this vote in the first place and we hope the Turnbull Government ensures marriage equality legislation goes through before Christmas, like promised.
The Sydney Morning Herald also reports the economy will get a billion-dollar plus boost when tens of thousands of same sex couples like Mark and Andrew are finally allowed to walk down the aisle - time to buy some new hats!
We're sending Mark and Andrew a huge congratulations and we can’t wait to hear more stories like theirs.
Watch this space!