High-profile state and federal politicians will help the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby make an eye-catching display of support for relationship recognition with the planting of 10,000 pink paper hearts at Fair Day this Sunday.
Federal shadow ministers Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek are due to attend the Sea of Hearts event in Victoria Park, alongside Greens senator Kerry Nettle and Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore.
Openly lesbian NSW MP Penny Sharpe and fellow Labor upper house MP Meredith Burgmann will also plant hearts, as will other parliamentarians including lesbian shadow federal minister Penny Wong.
The Lobby has also invited federal government MPs including Malcolm Turnbull and same-sex civil unions supporter Petro Georgiou, although neither had confirmed his attendance before Sydney Star Observer went to press.
The Lobby held a similar event last August, when it marked the first anniversary of the federal same-sex marriage ban by planting 1,000 hearts.
Co-convenor David Scamell welcomed the strong political support for the second Sea of Hearts.
It’s really great that we are seeing politicians from across the political spectrum but also from the three levels of government coming out and making a strong statement, he told the Star.
The Fair Day event was also a chance for the community to send a message about relationship recognition.
We thought it’d be appropriate to make a huge community statement about the fact that our relationships are equal and that we deserve the same treatment and same recognition under law, Scamell said.
We’re asking people in our community to bring their families and their friends and their colleagues.
We want it to be a broad community statement about relationship recognition.
The Lobby is encouraging people to plant hearts early, before a media photo call scheduled for 11am.
The planting will start around 10am near the main Fair Day stage and will run all day. Organisers will request a gold coin donation to plant a heart.
Greens senator Kerry Nettle -“ who attended the first Sea of Hearts last August -“ said this Sunday’s event would make a powerful statement about federal law reform.
All the way along the path it’s important that people are pointing out to the government that the issue of recognising same-sex relationships in whatever form that may be is not going to go away, she told the Star.
Federal Labor MP Anthony Albanese told the Star the Lobby initiative was constructive and positive.
The Sea of Hearts is a pretty important recognition of people who recognise that loving relationships exist between couples regardless of their gender or sexuality, he said.
Labor state parliamentarian Penny Sharpe said the Sea of Hearts events were more than symbolic.
They do provide a way for people of a like mind to get together and to make that personal commitment to see reform through, she told the Star.