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Why same-sex marriage is close to Bob's heart

BOB Spearritt is the last man you would expect to be leading the charge for marriage equality in Toowoomba.

Earlier this week, The Chronicle reported on Mr Spearritt and how he had become the face of the same-sex marriage "Yes'' campaign on social media.

Upon seeing the story and the reactions online, the former Toowoomba State High School, Mt Lofty principal agreed to discuss with The Chronicle just why he believes same-sex marriage should be legalised in Australia.

But the irony that he is an 89-year-old, in what many believe to be a conservative strong-hold, advocating for marriage equality is not lost on Mr Spearritt.

"There would be a lot people across Toowoomba who don't share (my) opinion," he said.

Mr Spearritt was inspired by the young people he has worked with over the years as a teacher.
Mr Spearritt was inspired by the young people he has worked with over the years as a teacher. Bev Lacey

"(To them) I would say let's minimise the division and let us all have our own choices."

Before retirement, the Bundaberg-born Mr Spearrit spent decades educating the region's youths as a teacher in both primary and secondary schools.

Stints in Gatton, Longreach, Chinchilla and Toowoomba all played a part in shaping who he is today.

Mr Spearritt believes those experiences with open-minded young people over the years played a pivotal role in his worldview.

"I've worked most of my life with young people in secondary school," he said.

Bob Spearritt said his ballot has been sent, and is happy to let the people have their say regardless of what side they fall on.
Bob Spearritt said his ballot has been sent, and is happy to let the people have their say regardless of what side they fall on. Bev Lacey

"I learned from them as well as they maybe learned from me."

Mr Spearritt reflected on how, in his time, he has witnessed society change and his thoughts on the subsequent reaction to his decision online.

"I've been able to watch the development of how things have been happening," he said.

"Times are changing and we certainly do not want to go back to the Victorian ages.

"I hope to be progressive. There has been a lot of traffic on the electronic media - some of it you take notice of, some of it you don't.

"I think everyone under the sun deserves a chance to marry the person he or she truly loves."

Topics:  editors picks federal government marriage equality news plebiscite same sex marriage ssm toowoomba



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