More than two-thirds of voters oppose the federal government’s decision to give public funding to the “Yes” and “No” campaigns in a plebiscite on equal marriage, according to an Essential poll published on September 20.
Only 22% approved the government’s decision, while 68% disapproved.
More than 60% said they would vote yes to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” and 30% said they would vote no.
Geelong locals, with the support of the Geelong Trades Hall Council, plan to hold a rally at 12noon on September 2 at the office of Federal MP for Corrangamite, Sarah Henderson, to ask her to cross the floor for marriage equality.
Acting Secretary of Geelong Trades Hall Council Colin Vernon said: “This is such an important issue for so many people and it would be nice if the Conservative Liberal government could stop playing party political games with people's lives for once and just get on with it.”
The rally organisers released this statement on August 31.
Supporters of equal marriage rights will again take to the streets in Sydney and Melbourne on August 13. The date marks 12 years since the John Howard government — with Labor support — passed laws banning equal marriage.
In the past 12 years, thousands have mobilised across the country demanding an end to the ban.
Veteran gay rights campaigner Rodney Croome has quit as national director of Australian Marriage Equality (AME), which he founded in 2004, to lobby MPs to block the equal marriage plebiscite.
Croome said those who believe a plebiscite is inevitable are “lacking political imagination” and declared blocking it could force a free vote in parliament on the issue. He said there was “no split in the movement” but rather “a spectrum of different approaches to a very difficult situation”.
About 7000 people marched for equal marriage rights in Melbourne on August 15. It was the largest such rally in years. Contingents of teachers, nurses and other unions were out in force.
The march featured a portable rainbow and ended with a mass illegal wedding outside the registry office. Rally chair Anthony Wallace rejected PM Tony Abbott's call for a referendum and said "Just pass the bloody bill!".
A #WECANDOTHIS sign, washed in rainbow lights, greeted politicians at Canberra Airport as they returned for the new parliamentary sitting this week. But the Liberal Party remains unmoved, and will keep their binding “no” vote for the duration of this electoral cycle.
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