Same-sex marriage: 'It's about equality and choice, not the glitz and glam of a wedding'
DALE Roberts became known to the Mackay and Whitsunday regions in 2016, when his Vietnam veteran father made a Facebook post about gay rights that went viral.
The 72-year-old man was standing up for his son, criticising Federal MP George Christensen's "homophobic” stance on a State Government decision to standardise consent laws - the post was eventually seen by tens of thousands of people and shared hundreds of times.
On Thursday, Mr Roberts, 36, will return to the region to promote the upcoming same-sex marriage postal vote and urge the people of his hometown to tick 'yes'.
"I have a partner named Michael and obviously this vote is important to us; we want to be treated equally,” he said.
"I'm from Airlie Beach and so we'll be coming to the region to drop off leaflets at around 5000 homes and chat to people, explain to them why the yes vote is so vital and will impact so many lives.
"Big city towns like Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, they have lots going on there but smaller regional towns have less people campaigning for it, so that's what we're going to do.”
Mr Roberts said allowing marriage laws to change, to include same-sex couples, would be life-changing and only positively impact gay individuals and their families.
"It's just important to be the same as everyone else, my brother and sister can get married, my parents can be there to watch that, but not for me,” he said.
"People seem to just think that because we can have a civil union we already have the same rights and only want marriage for the glitz and glam of it, that's not the case.
"Unions only have the same rights as a straight de-facto couple, if my partner falls sick, a hospital can choose to not let me in his hospital room because I'm not married to him or family.
"It also affects things like superannuation and inheritance, there's a whole range of issues, basically a union you're not protected, a marriage you have full legal rights.”
Mr Roberts said if and when he and his partner decided to get engaged, he hoped the long-winded debate on same-sex marriage would be over, and finally it would be legalised.
"We want to have the choice just like everybody else,” he said.
"Just the option, it won't effect anybody else except gay couples and families, this vote is just about marriage and what that changes for us couples, noone else.
"I'm choosing to come back up to my home town, where my dad will be supporting me again, because if there's anywhere in the world that I want to support me and this vote, it's there, I want my friends, family and town by my side.”
The postal vote began getting delivered on Tuesday for residents listed on the electoral role.
Those who are enrolled will have up until November 7 to submit their vote, even those who are overseas can have their say online.