About 800 people marched through the streets of Fremantle on September 9 in a colourful demonstration urging a Yes vote in the equal marriage rights national survey. The pavements were left covered with love hearts and messages supporting the Yes campaign.
The march followed a rally in Fremantle’s Pioneer Park, which was welcomed to country by Aunty Corina Abraham. She compared the refusal of marriage rights to LGBTI people to the refusal of marriage rights to Aboriginal people under the control of the 1905 Aborigines Act.
Diana Truman, one of the event organisers, introduced Fremantle Councillor Jeff McDonald and Mayor Brad Pettitt, who spoke about a Fremantle Council decision to support marriage equality.
MUA assistant state secretary Danny Cain called on people to organise and take action for marriage equality. Christians for Marriage Equality spokespeople Father Patrick King and Father Peter Boyland spoke for love and acceptance and against religious homophobia.
Michelle from Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays told the crowd that everybody present has a responsibility to get all their friends to vote Yes. She said there is no need to engage with hostile people. Opinion polling shows that the majority support marriage equality so the need is to mobilise that support to ensure a Yes vote.
JJ Blackburn of Equal Love WA energetically told people exactly how they could build the campaign.
Local Fremantle musicians Tanu Hudson, Noah Young, Ella Munro, Mirrors at the Arcade, Western Kinsmen of the Sun and Spacey Jane provided entertainment as the marchers returned.
Truman told Green Left Weekly: “It was really good to see so many people coming together for marriage equality. There was a hugely positive response from people as we passed by on the march, many of whom joined in.
“Katie from Rainbow Revolt had the idea of handing out pieces of chalk to people. During the march, we paused for a rainbow street art session. Walking through streets covered in supportive messages was very special.”