A series of protest marches will be held in capital cities around Australia this weekend and next, calling for the repeal of the same-sex marriage ban now polls confirm the majority of Australians support equal marriage rights.

Sydney’s National Day of Action march from Taylor Square to Town Hall on Sunday will be bookended by speakers from community and rights organisations as well as mainstream supporters such as the NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union.

The Rudd Government hasn’t made any attempts to overturn the marriage ban or make any real progress on parenting rights, inheritance rights. All of that would be fixed by legalising same-sex marriage, a lot of those other questions would disappear, Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) spokeswoman Heidi Claus said.

Then there’s the ideological factor that our relationships are somehow less worthy than other so-called normal relationships in society.

Initially we thought the turnout this year might not be as substantial as other years because there has been that Rudd-honeymoon period, -˜they’re going to fix it’. But I think it’s becoming clearer to people that these little Band-Aid approaches are a lot of talk but no action, she said.

The National Day of Action last year also focused on marriage and attracted hundreds of people in each capital city. However, the Galaxy poll commissioned by GetUp last year that found 57 percent of the population supported same-sex marriage has spurred groups like CAAH to continue these protests.

Claus said the organisers had made a conscious choice to not dictate any protest activities that might turn off some members of the community, such as occupying or blockading a government member’s office. Instead they would have a nice vibrant march into the city that would appeal even to less politically active members of the community as well as community groups such as the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby who have an ongoing role in lobbying government members.

If we were to call for an occupation of a government member’s office we probably wouldn’t get a massive response. But a rally in Taylor Square, with some speakers, a march through the city in a festive environment will attract people. You can only hope the government takes notice, she said.

Speakers will include representatives from CAAH, the Lobby, PFLAG, the NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union and Greens candidate for Sydney City Council Irene Doutney. The march will commence at 1pm Sunday 3 August from Taylor Square.

In other states:
Melbourne: Sunday 3 August, 1pm. State Library, cnr Swanston/La Trobe st, City.
Canberra: Saturday 2 August, 1.30pm, Garema Place, Civic.
Perth: Saturday 9 August, noon. Kings Square, Fremantle
Brisbane: Sunday 10August, 1pm, Queens Park, City

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