Activists are pushing to make same-sex marriage an election issue as  the clock ticks towards the August 21 poll.

The next same-sex marriage rally is scheduled for August 14, one week before Prime Minister Julia Gillard goes to the polls on the back of belief that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman.

Equal Love spokeswoman Ali Hogg told Southern Star she hoped Gillard’s stance would further mobilise the community.

“We think it’s all the more reason why we have to get out and make a stand,” she said. “We can’t rely on an atheist woman to change the law without a fight.

“I think it would really send a message that thousands of people want this law to be changed and, even if politicians don’t want this to be an election issue, we’re going to push for it to be one.”

In Darwin earlier this month, Gillard reiterated her opposition to change.

“My definition of marriage is the same definition of the Marriage Act we have now, which is that marriage is between a man and a woman,” she told ABC radio.

Hogg said community feeling Gillard may be taking a hard-line approach to the issue to appease conservative voters before an election may be misguided.

“A number of people think she’s just trying to get the Christian vote and she’ll change her position once she gets [re-elected],” Hogg said.

“But I think we can’t rely on that and the Labor Party’s position has never shown it’s anything to the left of the Liberals on this issue except on a state level.”

The August rally is likely to turn into an election soapbox with Greens and Labor hopefuls seeking to address protesters.

Hogg said rather than descending into a battle for votes, she was optimistic about support from various sides of politics.

“I think it all helps, its puts pressure on the Federal Government and shows the majority of people think this is a homophobic ban that should be gotten rid of,” she said.

“The fact that state MPs are confident to come out and state their opinions I think it’s a credit to the campaign and it’s a credit to people coming out time and time again to demonstrations.”

info: The rally will start at 1pm at the State Library, with a mass illegal wedding. Details: www.equallove.info

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