IN JULY, Tracey Richardson surprised her girlfriend Kay Lampard by proposing on a beach during a cruise holiday.
But their marriage will not be seen as legitimate in Australia.
The Leumeah couple, who have been together for four years, said they were disappointed but not surprised by the rejection of a federal government Bill to legalise same-sex marriage last week.
"I believe it's fear," Miss Richardson said of the vote. "[But] we live normal lives like other people and we're looking at fostering a child."
The local teacher and community service officer said they wanted to be treated like any other couple.
But at the moment they can't hold hands at local shopping centres without attracting attention.
"You always get that judgmental look," Miss Richardson said.
"It's just not worth the full-on stares."
Ms Lampard said they were still figuring out whether to get married overseas, have a commitment ceremony in Australia or wait until gay marriage was legalised here.
"We have a couple of friends that have been married overseas, they went to Thailand, and the difficulty is that your whole family can't come," she said.
"It's not recognised here, so is there really any point to it?"
She said as a mother, she also couldn't understand concerns about lesbians or gay men raising children.
"I have three grown-up children, so we have two grandchildren and one on the way," Miss Lampard said.
"There's so many different families out there now, so you might have two divorces or different fathers.
"So what difference does it make if there's two mums? I just think we need to step out of the dark ages."
Local politicians here are divided.
In Parliament last week, Labor duty senator for Macarthur Matt Thistlethwaite said he had changed his views on homosexuality when he learned that his brother was gay.
"My beliefs about gay marriage had been formed by blokey Australian culture," he said.
"But my brother's revelation made me . . . ultimately reach the view that the current definition of marriage is discriminatory and out-dated."
But Liberal Macarthur MP Russell Matheson is opposed to gay marriage and said he would have voted against the bill, even if allowed a conscience vote. "I've been listening to my constituents in the electorate and 90 per cent are against," he said. "I just believe in the definition of marriage as it stands today."
Labor Werriwa MP Laurie Ferguson was overseas at this year's United Nations General Assembly in New York when the Advertiser tried to contact him, but he has previously voiced his support of same-sex marriages.