Wednesday was a big day at the Cobargo Post Office.
In the morning, Australia Post told licensees David Wilson and Kyle Moser to take down a rainbow flag showing their support for the gay community.
However, later that afternoon this bitter blow was overshadowed by love when Mr Wilson proposed to Mr Moser right there in the post office building.
While not officially being allowed to tie the knot until marriage laws are changed, at least the proposal is out of the way for the couple.
“It was a big day Wednesday,” Mr Wilson said.
While walking past a jewellery shop in Bega on Wednesday morning he stopped and thought ‘why not?’ He knew his partner of eight years wanted to marry.
So he bought a ring and headed home to Cobargo. While on the road Mr Moser phoned him with the news he’d been instructed to remove the rainbow flag from Australia Post property.
The pair said they never raised the flag as a promotion of a yes vote, rather as a show of their support for gay people.
“We put up the flag to show we are gay people in this community and proud of it. It wasn’t up there for the yes vote,” Mr Wilson said.
“If pro or anti same sex marriage material comes through the post office we will deal with it equally,” he said. The couple has lived in Cobargo for two years. They are openly gay and have been embraced by the majority of their community.
“Everyone who comes into the post office knows we’re gay. We have a lot of support,” Mr Wilson said.
It wasn’t long after the flag was removed before the couple’s support base kicked in. About 12 people have told Mr Wilson they had lodged a complain with Australia Post.
Momentum is building in the town too. The local Opp Shop has put out a rack of rainbow coloured clothes and then there’s the rainbow-coloured sheep named Baa-Bie.
“I was angry about having to take the flag down but we’re licensees so they could threaten our license if we hadn’t,” Mr Wilson said.
Australia Post said in a statement its representatives were entitled to their views, but "as a government enterprise Australia Post needs to ensure its post offices are not used for making statements on political issues."