A CROWDFUNDING campaign has been launched to help an elderly Tasmanian lesbian couple travel to New Zealand to marry before it’s sadly too late.

Over the weekend, news emerged of Lee Bransden and Sandra Yates, an elderly Davenport couple who want legal recognition for their relationship but need it to happen as soon as possible as Lee is terminally ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and doctors have given weeks to live.

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In response, Australian Marriage Equality (AME) today launched a crowdfunding campaign to help the couple, both pensioners, to fulfill their dream.

The couple’s final wish together is to be legally married, which Sandra said would give Lee something to look forward to and live for.

“It’s [Lee’s] dying wish. She is dying to be married,” she told Fairfax Media.

Last week, the marriage equality debate experienced a resurgence after Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek announced she would be pushing Labor too adopt a binding vote in favour of it at the party’s upcoming national conference.

While her announcement – which was a change since 2014, when she told the Star Observer she did not support a binding vote — was with praise from marriage equality campaigners and from fellow Labor MPs and supporters, there were many who also criticised her — including Labor leader Bill Shorten, who wanted the platform to remain as a conscience vote.

The Liberal Party’s first openly-gay federal parliamentarian Senator Dean Smith was also among the chorus of critics, while Shadow Treasurer and western Sydney MP Chris Bowen has changed his personal stance and publicly declared his support for same-sex marriage.

Launching Lee and Sandra’s fundraising campaign today, AME national director Rodney Croome, said: “[Their] case is a reminder that marriage equality is about real people with real needs, not politics or parties.”

“Their dire situation is also a reminder that marriage equality is an urgent reform that needs to be resolved now, not some distant or trivial issue that politicians can put to one side,” he added.

The fundraiser aims to raise $6500 to pay for flights, accommodation and the wedding ceremony. At the time of print, $5650 had been raised with seven days remaining in the campaign.

The couple, who met 30 years ago and both worked as registered nurses, went on pensions after a bankrupt builder they employed ate into their life savings. They also recently sold their camper van to pre-pay Lee’s funeral.

To donate to Lee Bransden and Sandra Yates’ crowdfunding campaign for their NZ wedding, visit www.gofundme.com/t5dq26pw

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