There will be a concerted push to increase funding for the marriage equality campaign in the lead up to the ALP National Conference in December.

On Saturday, the WA conference passed a resolution calling on the national conference to make marriage equality party policy, leaving only the NSW Conference on July 9 left to debate a marriage equality motion this year.

Following that, Australian Marriage Equality (AME), SSO Media and New Mardi Gras (NMG) co-chairs Peter Urmson (pictured) and Steph Sands, will launch a final fundraising push to power the campaign for marriage equality right up to the National Conference and beyond, by paying for new opinion polling, further television, radio and print advertising campaigns, and to fly in experts like psychiatrist Paul Martin, who could speak to the damage that discrimination under law can do, to Canberra to assist in lobbying MPs.

The publisher of the Star Observer group, Scott Abrahams, said SSO Media was proud to support an organisation that had continually been at the forefront in the fight for marriage equality in Australia.

“As someone who has been in a relationship for more than a dozen years, I understand first-hand how vital this fight is,” he said.

“AME’s leadership in this campaign has been instrumental in getting this issue into the news and keeping it there and we believe that, given enough resources, they can keep the kind of pressure on that will lead to a change in the Government’s policy before Australia goes to another election.”

The main fundraisers will be twinned Hen$ Night and Buck$ Night parties for guys and girls respectively.

While dates are yet to be finalised, Urmson said community fundraising support was vital and put out a call for volunteers to help.

“Any bucks night has to have strippers and we’re planning to have 50 volunteers from across our different community sporting teams on stage to take part in that,” Urmson said.

“We’ve confirmed a number of DJs — Kate Monroe, Dan Murphy, Kam Shafaati, Baby Bear and Chip ­— and are waiting to hear back from two more.

“Cubby, the creative force behind the Mardi Gras Say Something campaign, will be handling the creative side while Lawrence Stark will choreograph the event.”

Urmson and Sands have also contacted Midsumma chair Lisa Watts about having a similar event in Melbourne, with the overall campaign having a fundraising target of between $25,000 and $50,000.

As media partner, SSO will provide support ongoing promotions through its newspapers, website and social media channels. NMG will also use its social media channels to promote the event.

AME national convenor Alex Greenwich said it was vital that the community did not become complacent about the fight ahead.

“We have achieved so much so far and the momentum of the movement is fantastic but people shouldn’t have a false sense of confidence – we haven’t seen the other side really show their hand yet and when they do there will certainly be a battle,” he said.

Drop in to any branch of the National Australia Bank and make a deposit.
ACC NAME: Australian Marriage Equality Bucks and Hens Night
BSB: 082-282
ACC NO#: 590846486


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