A total of 400 people in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra took part in rallies in the week following the federal Coalition government's June 13 disallowing of the ACT's civil unions law. The law had granted legal recognition to same-sex partnerships.
In Melbourne, a new coalition called Civil Union Action (CUA) was formed on June 13 to fight for equal legal rights for same-sex couples. The group held a protest on June 16 outside Liberal Party headquarters, which was attended by 250 people, despite cold weather and rain.
CUA speakers at the rally included Queer Greens co-convener Stephen Kress, and Equal Love campaign spokespeople Alison Thorne and John Kloprogge. Equal Love is the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby's campaign for legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.
"Same-sex love and commitment is equal in dignity and worth to heterosexual love, and deserves to be celebrated and affirmed by law and by society", Kloprogge told the rally.
Thorne said: "This is the beginning of a mass popular movement to win relationship equality. This is what we need to convince politicians of every political stripe to support our cause."
Rally participants were encouraged to join a rally on August 13 being organised by the Equal Love campaign group.
The Canberra and Sydney protests took place on June 18. The Canberra rally, organised by the Civil Union Defence Coalition, was held at lunchtime and was attended by 70 people, including a vile homophobe who heckled protesters. He was eventually taken away by police. The rally was addressed by Greens Senator Kerry Nettle.
Fifty people attended the Sydney protest, which was addressed by speakers from Community Action Against Homophobia, Australian Marriage Equality and the socialist youth organisation Resistance.
From Green Left Weekly, June 28, 2006.
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