Kempsey mother believes a 'yes' result on marriage survey is a must for Australia

Vote yes: Hayley Hoskins encourages everyone to get behind the ‘It’s ok on the Macleay’ event and campaign. Photo: Callum McGregor.
Vote yes: Hayley Hoskins encourages everyone to get behind the ‘It’s ok on the Macleay’ event and campaign. Photo: Callum McGregor.

The same-sex marriage survey will be open for voting next week and Baylin’s Gift founder Hayley Hoskins believes a ‘yes’ result would be a step in the right direction for Australia.

Kempsey Shire’s Mrs Hoskins lost her son Baylin, who was battling depression and struggling for acceptance for his sexual orientation, to suicide last year and started the charity Baylin’s Gift in his honour.

While Mrs Hoskins is opposed to the survey, she expressed a positive result would be a step forward for a country which is “so far behind the times” on the acceptance of gay marriage.

“It can be the beginning of real acceptance, it’s a long process but hopefully in the near future it isn’t a shock to see gay people getting married but instead it’s just two people getting married,” Mrs Hoskin told the Argus.

“We try and teach children they are accepted no matter what, but how can they truly feel accepted if they aren’t treated the same?”

Mrs Hoskins is hopeful the Macleay region will show its support for the LGBTQ community and encouraged everyone to get behind the ‘It’s ok on the Macleay’ event and campaign she initiated.

The movement is for the community to show its approval for same-sex marriage and to help the LGBTQ community feel accepted.

The event will be held at Kempsey Riverside Park on Sunday October 15.

“The performances on the day will be from the LGBTQ community to highlight what the Macleay would miss out on if these people weren’t here,” Mrs Hoskins said.

Meanwhile, Baylin’s Gift will raise awareness for mental health at Riverside Park for World Suicide Prevention Day this Sunday.

A range of businesses within the Macleay will be there to reach out to those who have lost loved ones and show support and hope for those who have attempted suicide or are suffering from a mental disorder.

“It's important for people who are struggling with mental demons to be acknowledged and to recognise there is a support network,” Mrs Hoskins said.

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Voting for the survey opens on Tuesday and the ballot papers need to be submitted by November 7.