Sydney couple Peter de Waal and Peter Bonsall-Boone, known to friends as Peter and Bon, met each other in 1966 and have been together ever since.
Last week, the couple shared their story with Channel Ten’s Studio 10 program, discussing the years they’ve spent campaigning for LGBTI rights and why they want marriage equality in Australia.
In 1972, Peter and Bon were interviewed and filmed for ABC program Chequerboard and broke ground at the time by sharing a brief kiss on national television.
Bon was swiftly fired from his job at a church for being gay, but the couple never doubted their decision to go public with their relationship.
“I think we were naive but very committed to bringing about some change, or being part of change,” Peter told Studio 10.
Bon added: “Being a couple was terrific, and we wanted to share this if we could with other gay men.”
In 1973, the couple established Phone-A-Friend – now the NSW Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service – and operated it from their home, where the couple still live today with a plaque reading “Chequerboard” displayed on the front porch.
Peter and Bon attended the first Sydney Mardi Gras march in June 1978, which ended in a violent confrontation with police and Bon charged with a criminal offense at a time when homosexuality was illegal.
Last year, the couple exchanged wedding bands on their 50th anniversary at a symbolic ceremony but Bon, who is battling cancer, fears that time is running out for them to become legally married.
Watch Peter and Bon tell their incredible story below:
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