LGBTI-friendly cafe owner reacts to news of same-sex marriage vote

GOOSEBUMPS: Kristy Sollars gets the news about the 'yes' result.
GOOSEBUMPS: Kristy Sollars gets the news about the 'yes' result.

THERE was quiet joy and relief this morning when Inland Cafe owner Kristy Sollars discovered Australia had voted yes to same-sex marriage.

Ms Sollars took a moment out from a busy morning cooking breakfasts to check her phone after the result was announced about 10am.

A text from a customer told her it was a result in favour of gay couples’ right to marry, and the message brought tears of joy and goosebumps.

Ms Sollars, a longtime supporter of the LGBTI community, said she had somewhat expected a positive result, but it was still “exciting – tears of joy”.

“You just hope that it’s over now; we hope that it’s over,” she said.

“The government needs to step up and take it now; let them have what we have.

“I think I was expecting a ‘yes’ because of so much of the positive feedback that we’ve got.

“It’s only been two people in this whole time that have been negative, and I have a lot of people through my door.”

Ms Sollars relayed the news to her sister and the cafe’s head chef, Emma Daniels, who was pleased but unruffled.

Ms Daniels has been in a same-sex relationship for 12 years and the couple have three children.

“I thought it would be ‘yes’ result,” she said.

“It’s good – but I’ll be excited when it happens [in law].”

Overwhelming support for stance

Ms Sollars said the cafe had – now and previously – many staffers or their family members who were gay, unsure of their sexuality, or transgender.

The cafe’s outdoor area is adorned with rainbow flags as a symbol that it welcomes local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people with open arms.

She said most people were right behind her, and the only two “negative” incidents in the lead-up to the vote had included a woman who’d come in to buy a coffee.

“A lady ripped up a Vote Yes poster and said we’d ruined her day,” Ms Sollars said.

“I’ve had phone calls from people in Armidale, even people in Sydney, saying, ‘Congratulations for putting your business out there and standing up for what you believe in’ ...

“I just hope this will bring better outcomes for kids so they can feel comfortable and not feel like an outcast.”