Victorian dairy farmer and LGBTI advocate Jason Smith has welcomed marriage equality for Australia, saying the change will make coming out easier for rural LGBTI people.
Smith listened to marriage equality passing in parliament on headphones while milking cows, The Standard reported.
“I couldn’t stop crying,” Smith said.
“I just got this feeling of being equal and being okay and having the rest of the country accept me.”
While he doesn’t currently have a partner, Smith is glad that he can now legally marry in the future should he wish to.
He said marriage equality represents acceptance and support for the LGBTI community.
“It knocks you for six. It’s just going to make life so much easier for rural LGBTI people to come out and be more accepted,” he said.
“There’s still a lot of hate around, there’s still a lot of negativity, but this will go a long way to turning things around and just normalising things.”
Smith called Liberal MP Warren Entsch a “hero” for his long-term advocacy for marriage equality.
“It wasn’t directly affecting him, but he knew it was for the greater good of our country,” he said.
Smith said the marriage equality debate had been a difficult period that the community would need time to recover from.
The emotions it has brought up aren’t going to go away straight away,” he said.
“The loved ones of LGBTI people should check in on their mental health and how they’re ticking along in the coming weeks and months.
“[Everyone should] concentrate on healing and enjoying this great leap forward.”