WE SAY 'I DO': Yamba residents Graeme East and Dean Valerio (centre) hold the banner for Marriage Equality at the 40th Mardi Gras in Sydney a small banner that says: 'Yamba said yes, we say I do'.
WE SAY 'I DO': Yamba residents Graeme East and Dean Valerio (centre) hold the banner for Marriage Equality at the 40th Mardi Gras in Sydney a small banner that says: 'Yamba said yes, we say I do'. Contribtued

Yamba couple front and centre in Mardi Gras parade

"IT WAS like the Rolling Stones walking on stage. It was madness - in a good way.”

Yamba's Graeme East and Dean Valerio were front and centre of the Marriage Equality float at the Mardi Gras, holding a sign that read: 'Yamba said yes, we say I do'.

Which the couple plans to do in October at Yamba Surf Club.

After organising the Marriage Equality campaign in Yamba, the two were invited to Mardi Gras to join in the march. "We thought why not?” Mr East said.

"When we got there, we were quite surprised because Dean and I were asked to go to the front. They wanted as many regional people up the front as possible.

"We were there holding the sign.”

This was only Mr East's second Mardi Gras, having gone about 20 years ago.

"I was just a normal person watching from the sidelines. I think Dean's been once before. It's not something we'd normally do,” he said.

"It was a massive experience, because it was the 40th Mardi Gras and because of the marriage equality vote. The crowd reaction we got was unbelievable.”

With all the hard work of the Yes Campaign over, they are now focusing on their wedding.

"It will be nice to get married here, we really enjoyed the community support,” Mr East said."The support we have at our market stalls is fantastic, the community has really got behind it.”



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