The Equality Campaign’s Alex Greenwich has been on the ground fighting for marriage equality for more than ten years. Ahead of the postal survey result, he reflects on why Australia needs to get it done by Christmas.
Alex Greenwich, Co-Chair of Australian Marriage Equality, remembers when he and husband Victor returned to Australia after their Argentinian wedding five years ago.
“There was quite a feeling at the airport when we returned home and we realised, under the law, we’re essentially flatmates.
“That was what really drove me to continue to up the ante in making sure we get marriage equality.”
The independent MP has been involved in the campaign for marriage equality in Australia for over ten years. He describes the postal survey as the “most intense” period the campaign has seen so far.
“It was a process we didn’t want, one that was challenged in the High Court,” he says.
“But I think we also saw the resilience of the LGBTI community on show. We saw such great leadership from people wanting to make sure we got out the vote.
“I’ve also been really impressed with how our community has done our best to look after each other during what has been a tough time.
“One of the silver linings has been the way the Yes campaign has brought people together. The Yes campaign has brought together the most dedicated volunteers and best campaign professionals to ensure Yes is a success.”
Greenwich has seen first-hand the ways in which the community has come together in support of the Yes campaign, from young people doing social media–based advocacy to older generations doorknocking in their neighbourhoods.
“LGBTI people truly love Australia, and the disappointment that we haven’t recognised people’s marriages as equal is certainly tough,” he says.
“But it’s been wonderful to see people turning that disappointment into strong and effective advocacy.”
Countless people around Australia volunteered their time contributing to the Yes campaign.
“Not just in cities but in regional and rural communities as well,” says Greenwich.
“One of the things that has been really inspiring has been seeing people from all major political parties come together, doorknocking, and making phone calls together. It’s been great to see.
“The City of Sydney in particular has shown some really great leadership, from providing the campaign with office space, to displaying Vote Yes flags all over the city.
“The city has shown a great deal of support and that’s had a profound impact on the LGBTI community in Sydney, knowing that their city is sticking up for them.”
Greenwich is optimistic about the outcome of the marriage equality postal survey.
“I think we’re really, really close,” he says.
In the event of a Yes outcome from the survey, the next step is for parliament to address marriage equality.
“We have a very robust marriage equality bill. There’s no need for any more process. We’ve got the bill—it’s time for parliament to get this done,” he says.
“It would be outrageous if marriage equality was not achieved by Christmas of this year.”
Like most of us, Greenwich hopes to celebrate marriage equality very soon.
“We’re looking forward to this finally being done and celebrating the achievement.”