An online forum on same-sex marriage has reached nearly 650,000 Twitter users, while a star-studded video released by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) to promote the issue on Friday has already been seen by close to 40,000 people.

More than 340 users participated in the September 29 Twitter forum, organised by Toro Productions and the Star Observer, including former NSW premier Kristina Keneally, New Mardi Gras, dancer Ripley Waters, DJs Seymour Butz and Dan Murphy, and puppet drag queen Queen Miss Left Titter. Their tweets broadcast to more than 20,000 people during the forum.

In the hours following the forum, retweets appeared in the Twitter feeds of more than 645,000 users.

In her contributions, Keneally urged people to find common ground with supportive people of faith and warned that civil unions would “undermine marriage for straight families” as well as same-sex couples if introduced instead of full marriage equality.

Keneally tweeted “civil union merely = tolerance not acceptance,” and “civil unions do not afford the easy legal or social recognition that marriage does”.

She advised that people continue to meet with, call and write to their MPs to press their support in a respectful manner, and that rallies needed to be big to be noticed, tweeting, “a political mentor of mine once said ‘never take a rally seriously if it doesn’t get at least 5000 people’ ”.

Common themes amongst tweeters was the importance of a big turnout at the rally outside the ALP National Conference in Sydney on December 3 and that work to convince MPs there was support in their electorates would be vital in the meantime.

Meanwhile, AME’s new ‘I Do’ video campaign seeks to highlight the strength of support in the Australian community for marriage equality.

The video was produced by Dan Murphy with the support of the City of Sydney and GetUp! and was shot inside Sydney Town Hall.

Running just over a minute, the video stars author Mia Freedman, newsreader Geoff Field, video blogger Natalie Tran, broadcaster Julie McCrossin, ex-Big Brother contestant Dave Graham, Carl Katter (half-brother of Independent MP Bob Katter), and Vietnam veteran and father of a gay son, Geoff Thomas.

They explain why they say “I do” to marriage equality, while hundreds of supporters form a human pie chart illustrating the levels of support for same-sex marriage in different segments of the community.
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AME has launched a new website to go with the video campaign — www.ido.org.au.

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