AUSTRALIA’S first political party dedicated to achieving equal rights for LGBTI people plans to make a grand statement at this year’s Pride March in Victoria.

Embracing this year’s theme of marriage equality, Australian Equality Party (AEP) is calling on couples who are already married — gay or straight — to join its “Recognition Walk” and march with them.

[showads ad=MREC] “So many of our LGBTIQ community have already tied the knot and we want to recognise their love and commitment even if federal parliament does not,” AEP leader Jason Tuazon-McCheyne said.

The party is looking for any married couples whether they were married overseas, at home in a non-legal ceremony, or are a straight married couple wanting to demonstrate their support to march with them on January 31 in St Kilda, Melbourne.

Tuazon-McCheyne hopes to find 100 couples and said they were about 50 per cent of the way of reaching that target.

AEP leader Jason Tuazon-McCheyne at the 2016 Midsumma Carnival

AEP leader Jason Tuazon-McCheyne at the 2016 Midsumma Carnival

The centrist AEP first launched at Pride March in 2014, but will make a major announcement at this year’s event ahead of the upcoming Federal Election anticipated to happen in October or November.

“We want to ensure there is an independent voice in parliament,” Tuazon-McCheyne said.

“We’re for full LGBTIQ inclusions… it’s not just about being tolerated but being included.”

Working as a marriage celebrant, Tuazon-McCheyne said the AEP would provide a voice for LGBTI people and other groups who needed equal rights.

“We need it more now than ever,” he said.

“We’re clear about who we are and what we want to do.

“There is no independent voice in parliament telling our stories with a voice for up to 2 million (LGBTI) Australians and their families.”

If you’re interested in marching at Pride March Victoria with AEP, register here.

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