Australia's 'oldest gay couple' planning to get married after 50 years together

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A Sydney couple, believed to be Australia's oldest same-sex partners, said they are now planning to get married after the country voted 'yes' to changing the law.

John Challis, 89, and Arthur Cheeseman, 85, met outside an art gallery in 1967.

Fifty years have passed since that night but neither ever gave up hope that one day they might be able to marry.

Now just one bill away from that becoming a reality, the pair don't plan on wasting any time making their partnership official.

Arthur Cheeseman (left) and John Challis (right) plan to marry as soon as possible. Source: The Global Mail Ltd.
Arthur Cheeseman (left) and John Challis (right) plan to marry as soon as possible. Source: The Global Mail Ltd.

"Without any fuss, just very quietly, we'll probably go down to the registry office with a couple of friends [and get married]," Mr Challis told ABC radio.

“It gives us a new dignity, a new status, a new place in society, we are the same as everyone else.”

But while Australia's LGBTIQ community celebrates Wednesday's 61.6 per cent postal vote victory, the future of same-sex marriage in Australia again rests in the hands of parliament.

Revellers celebratein Melbourne after the Yes vote announcement. Source: AAP
Revellers celebratein Melbourne after the Yes vote announcement. Source: AAP

"Just vote for the Dean Smith bill and get on with it," Mr Challis added.

He said the signficance of a marriage certificate can not be understated, given it also effects the way in which they both received their superannuation.

While their proposed celebrations may be understated, Mr Challis said he plans to buy his 85-year-old partner a painting by a well-known artist for their wedding day.

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