On Monday The Equality Campaign was launched nationwide. The campaign is a joint initiative by Australians for Equality (A4E) and Australian Marriage Equality (AME). It aims for marriage equality to be achieved through a parliamentary vote so that every Australian is treated equally under the law.
“The Equality Campaign is about building on the momentum and energy generated across the nation for marriage equality and continuing to campaign for a straightforward change to be achieved by a vote in the parliament,” Co-Chair of Australians for Equality, Anna Brown said.
“This campaign is about putting the human face of the issue back in the centre of the discussion. It is based on the importance of human stories and the message to LGBTI people, their families and friends that collectively we can be the agent of change.
“Our campaign aims to make a clear break from the negative atmosphere which surrounded the plebiscite and remind people of the importance but also the beauty of the cause. We are promoting some of the greatest human values – love, respect and happiness.”
What is happening around the country?
Seizing the marriage equality moment
I chatted with a good friend who is a strong supporter of marriage equality. She has written countless letters to politicians, has met with more than a few of them, attends rallies and does absolutely all that she can to explain to people why this is an issue that matters so strongly to her.
As a mother to two daughters, it feels wrong to her and her husband that one of their children is able to have her marriage recognised in this country while the other daughter, who is gay, is not.
Labor made a unanimous caucus decision to block the plebiscite legislation. There is now no parliamentary pathway for the unnecessary plebiscite. This is a powerful victory for LGBTI Australians, their allies, friends and families who have spoken out strongly against it. It is a win for those who have consistently urged politicians to consider the implications of an unnecessary public vote on the human rights of other Australians.
Pride is still burning bright
The Border gay and lesbian community will continue to push for same-sex marriage to be legalised despite the government’s plebiscite looking almost certain not to go ahead.
Social Wodonga Albury Gays founder Brian Kuehn is planning a rally in support of gay marriage which will be followed by the first Border Pride Fair Day mid next month.
Mr Kuehn welcomed plans by the ALP to kill off the Coalition’s public vote on same-sex marriage, arguing the move would “stop hate”.
Long wedding wait continues
Rochelle Roddom wanted to marry her partner of six years Ellen Ferguson, legally, in Australia, in front of loved ones including her elderly grandparents.
Sadly that dream did not become a reality.
In fact the Rutherford couple has been waiting years to tie the knot and after the decision about the plebiscite, they can’t see their nuptials happening anytime soon.
Call for MP to back marriage equality
Mr Burge said University of Queensland research showed what many marriage equality advocates had long been warning the federal government – that the “no’’ campaign on marriage equality was detrimental to the mental health of young LGBTI people and the children of LGBTI parents.
He said if Mr Laming was genuine in supporting the mental health of all constituents, he should support marriage equality.
Same-sex marriage advocate welcomes plebiscite block
Last year Appin resident Ms Millers became the unofficial face of same-sex marriage in Macarthur and she held grave concerns about the anti-gay propaganda campaign that many feared the plebiscite debate would have brought.
Ms Millers said she did not support the plebiscite because it was not binding and she did not agree that taxpayer funds should be allocated to either party for a propaganda campaign. She was also concerned about media coverage fueling the divisive debate.
Wedded to quest for same-sex rights
Same sex marriage came one step closer to being legalised this week say gay advocates.
Beau Newell said he was thrilled the federal Labor Party announced it would block the passage of a same-sex marriage plebiscite in the Senate on Tuesday.
Mr Newell, who helps run the website Regional & Rural NSW Supports Marriage Equality, said the announcement was a “very positive thing”.
He said the plebiscite would have been “horrible and divisive” and may have lead to the death of many young people distressed at seeing their sexuality or families denigrated during the plebiscite debate.
Same-sex marriage vote stalled
A Tamworth marriage equality advocate is happy a plebiscite on the issue won’t go ahead, insisting the matter should be solved with an in-house vote.
Citing the changes to the marriage act as inevitable, Darren Ralph believes a plebiscite would have come at an unnecessary cost to tax payers when the issue could be passed through parliament.
Dubbo-based Central West Pride March promotes marriage equality
Participants in Saturday’s Central West Pride March in Dubbo promoted marriage equality through words and signs.
They are part of the Australian LGBTIQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning, Asexual) community that has kept the pressure on federal politicians to revisit the Marriage Act.
Pokolbin party for celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersexuality
All across the the Hunter Valley vineyards wine glasses chimed and smiles flashed as hundreds of members and supporters of the LGBTI community celebrated the inaugural Pokolbin Pride.
Pokolbin Pride founder Jimmy Wright said the celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersexuality was not about claiming a space distinct from the non-LGBTI world, nor was it a defiant “march down the main street waving the feather boa”.
Rather it was about promoting acceptance in all spaces, for all people. More here.
Australian Christian Lobby Group votes ‘no’ to same-sex marriage
A people’s vote on redefining marriage has been promised. Many of us have same-sex attracted friends and family. Is it possible to love them while saying no to same-sex marriage?
Not everyone thinks so – or would like you to think so.
The media in particular fan the flames of ‘unlove’ by regularly labelling those opposed to same-sex marriage as ‘anti-gay’. This is incredibly unhelpful.
A prominent gay leader has described the upcoming plebiscite as, “a national vote on whether their country accepts them [same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people]”. This rhetoric, I believe, is very dangerous. It does nothing to encourage the “high-quality debate” he says he desires and, in fact, reinforces any rejection LGBTI youth may already be feeling.
I believe saying ‘no’ to same-sex marriage is a way of showing love, not rejection. Read on.
- Mark Brown is the Australian Christian Lobby Group Tasmanian director.