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Country towns speak up on marriage
Rallies in support of same-sex marriage and LGBTI rights have been organised for the country Queensland towns of Toowoomba and Mackay in an effort to let rural voices be heard and represented on the issue of gay rights.
Toowoomba is holding the Love is Worth Fighting For community rally, which organisers expect to be the biggest LGBTI rally the town has ever seen.
The rally will be attended by supports from all segments of the Toowoomba community, organiser and straight ally Emma Bust told the Star Observer.
“One of the main volunteers is a straight ally and we have a pretty good mix which is great to see. There will be plenty of families attending in support,” she said.
Bust wasn’t surprised by the support the rally has received but was concerned by the lack of support or action shown by elected council and state government members.
“I’m more shocked when our elected representatives don’t hear what their own constituents are saying. We haven’t received much feedback from them which is disappointing,” she said.
Kat Henderson from Equal Love Brisbane will be a guest speaker on the day.
Like Toowoomba, the Mackay rally has attracted support from many sections of the community, organiser Kris May said.
Anticipation for the rally has been growing since it was announced in August and has attracted national political attention with the attendance of South Australian Labor Senator Claire Moore.
“There is an air of excitement and anticipation for the rally surrounding the community, as it is receiving plenty of media attention,” May said.
There has been no negative feedback regarding the Mackay rally so far and May hopes this remains the case.
“The LGBTI community in Mackay is steadily realising they need to be part of the solution, and getting active in promoting change. There is some stigma that will always remain in regional centres.”
The Toowoomba and Mackay rallies will both be held on October 6. The Toowoomba rally will start at 1pm from Queens Park and the Mackay rally will start at midday from the Mackay Regional Council lawns.