Launceston great grandmother on same-sex marriage postal vote result

'BEAUTIFUL DAY': Launceston great grandmother Susie Clarke is thrilled with the same-sex marriage survey result, announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday morning. Picture: Scott Gelston
'BEAUTIFUL DAY': Launceston great grandmother Susie Clarke is thrilled with the same-sex marriage survey result, announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday morning. Picture: Scott Gelston

Susie Clarke wants to see her granddaughter marry one day.

At 73, the Launceston woman has two children, six grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and another great grandchild due in the next couple of months.

“I’m a great grandmother and I’ve always been taught since I was a kid that everybody’s equal and everybody has equal rights and I brought that to my family,” she said.

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Ms Clarke joined a group of “yes” voters at MHR Ross Hart’s office in Launceston to watch the results unfold on Wednesday morning.

“In this survey, all my family voted, ‘yes’, because, after all, everyone is equal and I’m so happy with the result.”

Not long ago, Ms Clarke’s granddaughter Samantha told her she was gay.

“I’m really thrilled [with the survey result] because I just found out about three months ago, my granddaughter in Canberra, that she came out and she wants to get married.

“And what a beautiful day for her to get the ‘yes’.”

Ms Clarke said her granddaughter’s marriage would mean bringing another person into the family to love.

“That’s what most parents and grandparents should know, that it’s another relation to love and how beautiful that could be, if only people just open their minds and accept that love is beautiful.

“I would love to see my granddaughter get married some day. I would give her the biggest party ever.

“It’s just about welcoming another beautiful person into the family. This is what it’s all about.

“Love is beautiful and we all should welcome it instead of causing so much heartbreak.”

Originally from Malaysia, Ms Clarke has been in Australia for more than 40 years, first in Canberra, and then in Launceston for the past 20 years.

She said it was “taboo” to be attracted to the same sex where she grew up.

“And there was terrible, terrible punishment.

“It was really heartbreaking.”

Love is beautiful and we all should welcome it instead of causing so much heartbreak.

Susie Clarke

She said she hoped the federal government would pass a bill following Wednesday’s result, to legalise same-sex marriage in the near future.

“Otherwise, it will be a waste of all the money on this survey.

“But we’ve got to think positive. We’ve got to fight on.”