Canberra rallies for equal marriage

September 9, 2017

A rally in support of equal marriage has drawn the biggest LGBTI rights rally in Canberra's history and the biggest crowd Canberra has seen since the rally against the decision to send Australian troops to Iraq in 2003.

More than 3000 supporters of marriage equality filled Garema Place on September 2, before marching through Civic to demand immediate action on marriage equality.

The rally was organised by marriage equality group Equal Love, which organised the Melbourne protest on August 26 that saw more than 20,000 people demand equal marriage rights.

Equal Love Canberra spokesperson Con Karavias said the “rally was the largest LGBTI rights demonstration in ACT history.

"We are determined to use the passion and enthusiasm from today's rally to step up our campaign so we can achieve a resounding victory. Australians demand action on this civil rights issue and we will not give up until we win.

“Marriage equality should have been passed by the parliament long ago, but if this plebiscite goes ahead we are determined to win it.”

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Australia's first openly-gay leader of a state or territory, was among the speakers. He told the rally the ACT had always strongly supported marriage equality.

"We were the first state or territory to legalise marriage equality in 2013, and while the High Court said no to it, it triggered the start of a massive national campaign for change," he said. "It firmly ensured the issue was on the national agenda and that the federal parliament couldn't shirk their responsibilities to step up and make the change."

Veronica Wensing, one of those who married in the ACT in 2013 during the five days it was legal, said: "That was probably the most euphoric time of our lives, perhaps the happiest moment. To be able to declare love for one another in front of family and friends was indescribably joyous."

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