Rallies for marriage equality

Photo: Mat Ward

National rallies on November 20 and 27 were held in support of equal marriage rights for lesbian, gay, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) couples.

November 20 was also Transgender Day of Remembrance. The day started in 1999 to remember those who were killed by anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

Across the country, trans activists addressed equal marriage rights. A minute's silence was held to remember those killed by transphobic violence.

On November, 3000 people marched in Melbourne. The young and colourful crowd marched through the city to the marriage registry on Spring St.

Speakers included comedian Josh Thomas, Hannah Gatsby and students Hannah Williams and Savannah Supski, who drew media headlines after being banned from going to their school formal together.

In Cairns on the same day, about 100 people rallied to support the campaign. Organiser Nick Thompson, doctor David Bradford and a representative from the Community and Public Sector Union delegates who came to support, addressed the rally.

In Brisbane, more than 1000 people gathered in Queens Park to hear speakers — including ALP state MP Grace Grace and the Greens' Elissa Jenkins — declare their support for equal marriage rights. The rally ended with a marriage ceremony for several couples, conducted by a pastor from the Metropolitan Church.

In Wollongong, the rally was cheered and applauded by onlookers as it marched through Crown Street mall, chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, homophobia has got to go!"

In Sydney on November 27, thousands of people rallied in calling on the government to lift the ban on same-sex marriage. Breaking party ranks to support marriage equality, ALP Senator Doug Cameron addressed the crowd.

"A number of arguments have been put forward against equal marriage for LGBTI Australia … none of them pass the test of intellectual rigour or fairness", he said.

"If our definition of marriage never changed over time, inter-racial marriage would still be illegal and marriage would still make the wife the property of the husband."

A minute of silence was observed in remembrance of the victims of violence against trans and intersex people.

The rally marched through the city, up Oxford St to Taylor Square where Pastor Karl Hand asked the crowd to make promises to "recognise the beauty and uniqueness of diverse relationships … be the community that nurtures and values peoples choices", and to "grow as a community to support each others relationships."

The rally concluded with a rendition of "Don't Stop Believing" performed by drag act Joyce Magnge.