Rachel Evans gave this speech to a rally for marriage equality in Sydney on May 31. She is a member of Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) and the Socialist Alliance. *** We are on the cusp of a victory. A victory of ordinary people against prejudice and bigotry. We are on the edge of winning this battle for marriage equality — when the likes of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and conservative journalists Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt coming out positively for our love rights, we know we are close.
Australian lawmakers are set to begin debating marriage equality, and the anti-equality brigade is not happy at all. The Australian Christian Lobby’s managing director Lyle Shelton is the public face of the campaign against marriage equality in Australia. I certainly don’t agree with him on everything, but I do agree with his motto, which can be aptly summarised by Helen Lovejoy’s catchphrase, “won’t somebody please think of the children.” But for once in my life I should make a minor confession: I mostly agree out of pure narcissism. This is my open letter to Shelton. * * *
ADELAIDE Come to the National Sorry Day: Stolen Generations track home on Tuesday May 26 at 10.30am – 2.30pm. Join the Stolen Generations calling for reparations with speakers, music, bbq and drinks. Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga. Ph John Browne 0431 234 561. BRISBANE Join the Rally for the future: Lock the gate on Thursday May 21 at 10am. Speakers’ Corner, outside Parliament House, George St. BENDIGO Come to a rally to stop the community closures on Friday May 15 at 4.30pm. Rosalind Park. MELBOURNE
Equal marriage rallies were held on November 23 in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. About 500 people braved wet weather to march for marriage equality in Melbourne. Speakers included United Firefighters national secretary Peter Marshall. He said: "How does a government have the right to say that your love is not equal? This leads to less workplace rights than heterosexuals. Unions do not like discrimination. You are supported, you will win this."
This statement was released by the Socialist Alliance on October 28 *** The passing of the ACT assembly's bill to allow same-sex marriages on October 22 is a significant win and a step towards full, federal marriage equality. The win is a result of long, hard-fought, grassroots campaigning. The federal government's bid to quash it with a High Court challenge is testimony to its bigotry and hostility to equality. We must defend the bill against the federal government's attack.
The Australian Capital Territory assembly passed a same-sex marriage bill on October 22. The Marriage Equality (Same-Sex) Bill 2013 allows same-sex marriages of ACT residents and non-residents, and is a huge step forward for marriage equality. The ACT is the first Australian jurisdiction to legalise same-sex marriage, after a mammoth fight against a federal same-sex marriage ban. The Labor ACT government passed the bill with the support of Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury while the Liberal Party opposed it. The bill passed narrowly, nine votes to eight.
This speech was given at a rally for marriage equality held in Sydney on October 12. *** Today we are out in force to stand up to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and to speak out against the Liberals' mad attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI). And yes, it is a full scale attack. Liberal Party governments all over this country are doing everything in their power to destroy 50 years of progress towards equality for LGBTI people.
The first marriage equality rally in Nowra, south of Wollongong, was held on September 6. About 100 people attended the rally and chalk rainbows were drawn on the footpath. Rally organiser Tobi Harris told the Illawarra Mercury: “The seat of Gilmore has been held by the Liberals for 17 years, and we want to remind them to stand up for the gay community.” Long-time queer rights activist Paola Harvey addressed the crowd. Her speech is reprinted below. ***