The rallies, set to take place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth on November 23, will call for marriage laws – such as those recently passed by the ACT Parliament and to soon be considered by NSW’s parliament – to be upheld while also highlighting the need for reforms at a federal level.
A High Court challenge launched by Attorney-General George Brandis against the constitutional validity of the ACT’s Marriage Equality Same-Sex Bill is set to be heard as soon as early December of this year, according to a spokesperson at the High Court, although this subject to a further directions hearing on 4 November.
Cat Rose, co-convener of Community Action Against Homophobia, said the success of the ACT legislation on October 22 was a “historic day”, but it was likely that state or territory-based same-sex marriage laws will not provide full marriage equality, particularly for transgender or intersex people.
“There are going to be big problems with two tiers of governmental recognition of marriage – people who transition from one sex to another will have to divorce from their current marriage and then remarry with a different government. We need marriage laws that don’t force people into rigid expectations of bodily sex,” Rose said.
“Successive ALP and Liberal governments have presided over a whole raft of laws and practices that are particularly oppressive and discriminatory to transgender and intersex people. The huge inadequacy of ‘same-sex’ marriage laws for them highlight why even people in the ACT can’t call it quits from here. Leaving trans and intersex people behind is not part of our marriage equality vision. We don’t leave anyone behind.”
The planned protests come as almost 25,000 people have signed a petition organised by LGBTI advocacy group All Out calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to stop his moves to block state or territory-based same-sex marriage laws through action in the High Court.
All Out’s lead Australian campaigner, Hayley Conway, said Abbott should not stand in the way of progress.
“If he continues to stand against loving Australian couples and their children, history will leave him behind,” Conway said. “Equality is in Australia’s future, whether Abbott is part of the future or part of the past is up to him.”
INFO: Protests commence at 1pm (local time) at all locations on November 23
Sydney, Town Hall
Melbourne, State Library
Brisbane, Queens Park
Perth, Sterling Gardens