Chloe and Bill Shorten (Photo: Beau Driscoll)

‘We are not going to stop until we legislate marriage equality.’

Chloe and Bill Shorten joined the celebrations as Melbourne partied long and late after the SSM verdict. 

After the non-binding postal survey came back with a YES, it was time for the rainbow community to head to Carlton’s Lygon Street to celebrate.

Melbourne’s Result Street Party was jointly organised and hosted by United for Marriage Equality, Victorian Trades Hall Council, Equal Love and Australian Marriage Equality.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten attended with his wife Chloe, and summed up the mood when he told Hatch: “I am rapt because I think that Australia is a better place to be tonight than what it was this morning.”

He ended the interview with this promise: “We are not going to stop until we can legislate marriage equality full-stop, and we will not stop until we get it.”

He then spoke to members of the LGBTI community, and even got the chance to skol a schooner of beer to celebrate.

We are not going to stop until we legislate marriage equality full-stop, and we will not stop until we get it. Bill Shorten

The drinks were flowing along with the glitter, as were the speeches from politicians and marriage equality supporters from all walks of life.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told the crowd he was in awe of all LGBTI people who had fought for marriage equality, from the past to the present.

Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle then took to the stage and told the colourful community that he would complete a course to become a celebrant, so he could marry same-sex couples at Town Hall.

Emotions were flying as high as the rainbow flags, with tears of joy from same-sex couples, their family members and their allies.

One of those allies, Vashti Evans, told Hatch: “I felt extremely happy and emotional when I heard the results and I even cried.”

The party started on Lygon Street at 5:30pm with drag queen, Karen from Finance, the night’s MC.

“I’m going between excited, angry and relief.” Rowena Allen

There were three stages hosting bands, orchestras and DJ sets with celebrations then moving into the Curtin Hotel where there were more DJ sets and other entertainment.

Victoria’s Commissioner for Gender and Equality, Rowena Allen, was present. She told Hatch: “I feel relieved. I’m going between excited, angry and relief.” She also said that there were Yes and No voters everywhere in the community and now we have to work together and go through the healing process together.

A little rain fell but after the thunderstorm of the last three months, it wasn’t going to ruin the celebrations.

Love was in the air – hugs were going around – there were kisses for everyone… and YES was the word both screamed and celebrated. – Beau Driscoll