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Sunday 11 October 2015

Lee and Sandra just want to get married

Posted in: True Stories
By Jacqui Stanford - 4th May 2015

Great news!! Thanks to support from all over the world, the couple will get married in Rotorua very soon!

Lee Bransden and Sandra Yates are a couple living in Tasmania who want to get married.

Lee is terminally ill with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and has been given just weeks to live.

Picture: Heath Holden

Australian Marriage Equality has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to pay for the pensioners to get married in New Zealand, as Australia still does not have same-sex marriage.

The women’s final wish as a couple is to be legally married. They say it will show the world their commitment to each other. In Sandra’s words it will also give Lee something to look forward to and live for: “it will just make her really, really happy.”

National director of Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome says Lee and Sandra's case is a reminder that marriage equality is about real people with real needs, not politics or parties.

"Their dire situation is also a reminder that marriage equality is an urgent reform that needs to be resolved now, not some distant or trivial issue that politicians can put to one side."

The fundraising campaign is seeking to raise AU$6,500 to pay for flights, accommodation and the wedding ceremony.

The women both worked as registered nurses, but are now both on pensions. They lost their life savings when a builder they employed went bankrupt and recently sold their camper van to pre-pay Lee's funeral.

Lee has written a note to former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, which was passed on by Rodney Croome at a dinner with Gillard in Hobart.

“I have been a staunch Labor supporter since 1966 and strongly fought for feminist issues and equality for all. Please help switch on the light for same-sex marriage and take us out of the darkness,” she wrote.

You can help by donating here – and businesses keen to donate products and services for Lee and Sandra's wedding can do so here

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Jacqui Stanford - 4th May 2015