equal marriage rights

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.

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.

When I first came out as a lesbian in high school, I was scared.

Hanging over my envisioned future were a lot of question marks, a familiar feeling for a lot of LGBTQI youth.

Heightened rates of mental illness, suicide, homelessness and assault frame the vision of adulthood with very real uncertainty.

This uncertainty is mirrored by the media. The distinct lack of representation in media robs queer youth of healthy role models.

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.

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The Victorian branch of the Country Women's Association (CWA) has voted in support of marriage equality at their latest conference.

The CWA's decision contrasts with its conservative image and defies stereotypes of rural communities as being less accepting of LGBTIQ people.

The motion was titled "That the CWA of Victoria Inc advocates for equality for all Australians under the Commonwealth Marriage Act".

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”.

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."

Campaigners for equal rights had their first win for 2014 as a Pakistani-born gay man, Ali Choudhry, obtained a temporary deportation reprieve just as nation wide protests began on January 7.

A petition with 120,000 signatures was also handed to the Sydney office of immigration minister Scott Morrison. Later, about 50 protesters staged a "die-in" outside the department of immigration office in Sydney. A protest was also held outside the department of immigration office in Melbourne.

Ten years ago, on August 13 2004, the John Howard government, with the support of the Labor Party, passed legislation that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

Queer people did not have the right to marry before the legislation was passed, but the new definition was brought in to close any loopholes and make it explicit that the Coalition government did not support civil rights for gay and lesbian people.


The Victorian Labor government has repealed the worst aspects of the Coalition's anti-wind farm laws.

After a strong community campaign led by Friends of the Earth, the Andrews government announced it will remove the 2km right of veto that allowed householders to block wind farms. This measure will be replaced by a 1km buffer zone.


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