A NEW phone voicemail campaign by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) saw an estimated 200 messages received in the first 24 hours after the hotline opened last Friday, with the current total at almost 400.

Co-sponsored by AME and ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s, #EqualityCalling allows same-sex marriage supporters to record messages of support which are then delivered automatically to the offices of their local senators and federal MPs.

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The initiative aims to translate the significant community encouragement for marriage equality into support in parliament, according to AME national director Rodney Croome.

“One reason Australia lags behind other comparable countries on marriage equality is that high public support for the reform — 72 per cent according to the most recent polling— hasn’t translated into support in parliament,” he said.

“#EqualityCalling seeks to bridge the gap by directing personal messages from marriage equality supporters directly into the offices of their local federal politicians.”

Croome said he was “over the moon” with the response so far but more calls were needed if the campaign were to have a significant impact.

“Please leave a message if you haven’t already, and if you have, please ask five friends or family members to do the same,” he said.

Comedian and media personality Wendy Harmer is the voice for #EqualityCalling, helping callers record their message and introducing the calls that are phoned through to politician’s offices.

“This is simply about equality… Beginning and end of argument for me,” she said.

“As it stands the Marriage Act is discriminatory… If same-sex couples wish to marry and experience all the joys and frustrations it brings… or even if they don’t, I support the right of all Australians to enjoy the same freedom of choice I have.”

During Mardi Gras Fair Day on Sunday, a rainbow-coloured, glitter-bombed phone box akin to those in London will make its debut, aiming to rally people to unite in support of marriage equality and have their voices heard.

You can leave your message of support by calling 1300 663 679 and listen to a selection of calls at https://soundcloud.com/equalitycalling

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