Sydney to host Australia’s first grassroots marriage equality conference

November 23, 2011
Equal marriage rally, Sydney, August 13. Photo: Peter Boyle

The 1LOVE conference organisers released the statement below on November 23.

* * *

The first national, grassroots marriage equality conference in the history of the movement is taking place on Sunday December 4 at Sydney University.

It is scheduled to take place the day after the ALP National Conference and Marriage Equality Rally in Sydney.

1LOVE: Equality, Marriage, Freedom Conference is supported by groups including Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Crave MCC, Sydney University Postgraduate Student Association, Community Action Against Homophobia, Equal Love Canberra and the Australian Sex and Gender Diverse Alliance.

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss the direction of the marriage equality campaign and include the voices of grassroots activists, parliamentary and community leaders.

1LOVE will focus on marriage equality in its morning plenary and include speakers Lee Rhiannon MP, the Gay & Lesbian Business Association President Paul Lee-Maynard, Sally Goldner from Melbourne community radio and TransGender Victoria, amongst others.

The afternoon of 1LOVE has been set aside for workshops on issues important to the community beyond marriage equality.

Scott Williams, co-founder of the national youth campaign Wear It Purple, will be chairing a workshop about young people within the education system.

The workshop will include a diverse lineup: a public high school teacher, an education student, grassroots activists from South Australia and Victoria, high school students and YGender Victoria.

Bryn Hutchinson, a social worker whose practice has included work with same sex attracted and gender diverse young people, and the refugee and humanitarian fields will be chairing a workshop focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex international campaigns. Speakers will include the International Lesbian & Gay Association, and refugees who have fled their home countries due to persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation, amongst others.

Norrie mAy-welby will be delivering a report back from the inaugural Sex and Gender Diverse Human Rights & Dignity Conference taking place in Sydney on December 2nd.

1LOVE will close with a HIV/AIDS Memorial service beginning at 7:30pm on the front lawns of Sydney University.

The HIV/AIDS memorial will be opened with an indigenous Australian smoking Ceremony by Aboriginal Elder Uncle Max. It will also include a chanted memorial of the names of those who have passed conducted by Rev Ben Gilmour, Anglican priest and current minister of Paddington Uniting Church.

Pastor Karl Hand of CRAVE MCC will be hosting the HIV/AIDS memorial, which coincides with the second Sunday of Advent, when the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches have traditionally observed World AIDS Day.

1LOVE will be taking place at the University of Sydney at the New Law School building on December 4th from 10am til 5pm. The conference will be take place one day after the ALP National Conference and the community’s Marriage Equality Rally.

Conference speakers include:
· Lee Rhiannon MP
· Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association President Paul Lee-Maynard
· Scott Williams co-founder of Wear It Purple
· International Lesbian & Gay Association
· Sally Goldner of TransGender Victoria
· Simba of ‘Ygender’ sex and gender diverse youth organization
· Current teachers from NSW High Schools
· High School students
· Rev Ben Gilmour of Paddington Uniting Church
· Pastor Karl Hand of CRAVE Metropolitan Community Church
· Positive Life NSW
· Carlos Webster of Metropolitan Community Church Sydney

1LOVE is supported by: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Equal Love Canberra, the Socialist Alliance, CRAVE MCC, Sydney University Postgraduate Student Association, TransGender Victoria, Sex & Gender Education, Still Fierce, Occupy Sydney, Occupy Melbourne, Community Action Against Homophobia YGender and Wear It Purple.

For more details visit

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