Rally to send clear message

Rally to send clear message

This Saturday’s nationwide rallies for marriage equality may be the last chance GLBTI Australians get to make their voices heard by politicians before the federal election.

Fresh in many protesters’ minds will be last month’s legalisation of same-sex marriage in Argentina, and recent court victories upholding marriage equality in Mexico City and the US state of California, where Republican governor Arnold

Schwarzenegger has called for same-sex marriages to be allowed to resume immediately ahead of appeals to higher courts.
Rallies in every state and territory capital except Darwin have been confirmed, with NSW regional centres including Newcastle, Byron Bay, Wollongong, Katoomba and Lismore holding their own events.

In Sydney, the rally will begin at Town Hall at 1pm, and will be MCed by stand-up comedian and television presenter Wil Anderson.

Speakers will include Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who has promised to introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage into the next Parliament no matter which of the major parties forms government.

The event will conclude with a march to Taylor Square, followed by post-rally parties at the Oxford and Stonewall hotels from 3pm.

Community Action Against Homophobia Sydney co-convenor Ben Cooper said that with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Senator Penny Wong reiterating their opposition to same-sex marriage, the community needed to send a clear message that it would not support them if they did not support us.

“We need everybody at this rally,” Cooper said. “If you only plan to attend one rally this year it needs to be this one.

“With a pro-marriage rights party in the shape of the Greens expected to take the balance of power in the Senate, now is the time for the community to step up for complete and equal rights across Australia.”

The Greens are tipped to hold the balance of power after the election no matter what the outcome, as Labor is preferencing them in the Senate, while the Liberals are preferencing the Greens over Labor in their Senate tickets for every state and territory except Tasmania.

In Newcastle, protesters will meet at noon outside federal Labor MP Sharon Grierson’s office at the corner of Hunter and Auckland Sts to hear Greens and Socialist Alliance candidates speak, followed by a picnic in nearby Civil Park.
Details for the Wollongong event are expected later in the week.

info: Visit www.equallove.info

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22 responses to “Rally to send clear message”

  1. well, now that it’s over lets see how forceful our friends, The Greens, really are? Finally, a teensy bit of real power! I’m still in favour of abolishing the word ‘marriage’. Society is too entrenched in olde worrlde lexicography.
    Equal Human Rights please,
    Love from Hell xoxoxo

  2. Typical stuff from the Socialists group. Heaven forbid if they could just rock up as individuals concerned about the issue the event is created about. I think Michelle above has summed it up best:

    “I do not want the gay community to be put under their political umbrella just because we all believe in gay marriage.”

    I support the main cause of your movement, but it’s going to have a much better chance not coming across as a political ideology. Even being seen as a “left-wing” issue, the whole left wing/right wing thing only seeks to polarise the issue and get people thinking done Party lines instead of a matter of conscience and morality.

    In case you’re wondering, I’m a hetereosexual who thinks the Government has no right to say what’s what between 2 consenting adults. I’m also just sick of Australian grassroots activism being Socialist-dominated. It’s not a case of other groups joining in, it’s a case of not confusing the message the public event is trying to bring across – whatever that may be. People of differing ideologies don’t seem the need to be so loud & proud about it at every event.

  3. The rally needs to get a key message to the Greens:

    “Before the election, commit to use your balance of power to block Government legislation until the Government agrees to same-sex marriage.”

    No point in having the balance of power unless you force the major parties to negotiate!

  4. Lets remember there’s more at stake then just Marriage Equality here in NSW. The majority of Transgender people are left out of the antidiscrimination laws for starters. The horrific things done to Intersex Infants being another. There’s the adoption issue, religion used to deny bussiness even medical services to GLBTI people and much much more.

    So sure lets keep everything relevant to the GLBTI community, but lets not only make it about marriage as our community still faces a lot of other problems too.

  5. ahem well it seems the Socialist Alternative have taken over this page, they seem to like to takeovers.

    I am member of Greens and we have been heavily involved from the begging. I have to say I no longer attend CAAH meetings after they sent 6 people from Socialist Alternative came in to take over the committee and take the money for themselves, so not very nice.

    I find the Socialist Alliance very sensible, passionate, I love Pip Hinman candidate for Grayndler, Rachel Evans Senate Candidate, Conor Montgomory great person, to name a few.

    Too many groups with name ‘socialist’ in the name, think we need couple to disappear or at the very least start to act like a group interested in social democracy & justice and stop attacking hardworking lefties!


  6. It’s important that the equal marriage rights campaign continues to involve all who reject this blatant discrimination. It’s not surprising that socialists – those who believe social needs must come first – take this campaign against discrimination and bigotry seriously. The campaign has grown in size and strength over the last year: let’s not squander that. Who ever wants to end this gross discrimination should feel welcome to the rallies. Ultimately, it’s street heat which the politicians respond to – as we can see unfolding in election 2010. Let’s make this rally huge and continue to demand marriage (and adoption) rights for LGBTQI communities!

  7. If people want to see a broader coalition of people organising the event then go along to CAAH meetings.

    CAAH has tried to get New Mardi Gra, ACON and NSW GLRL onbored and none of these groups are currently interested in actively campaigning on these issues.

  8. Michelle.

    No one spoke about the war at the last rally one speaker spoke about the palistine conflict and queer palistines this was because it was IDAHO as well. There was also a Union speaker who was completely off topic but was not suppose to be.

    The rest were all related to gay rights issues.

    This time round the speaking list has been shortened and apart from one speaker speaking against homophobia in sport and in relation to Jason Akermanis comments the rest of the line will be focus on gay marriage and adoption.

    In relations to the socialists they have been apart of the movement and were instrumental in starting the fight for equal marriage rights in Australia and should be represented at the rally. But in saying that I do feel other groups need get out there as well the other community and political groups need to bring out there supporters and banners and it won’t be socialist dominated – Thats hardly the organisers fault they do invite a whole range of people.

  9. The message of a protest will always get diluted the more “issues” you bring on board. make it about Same sex marriage FULL STOP! Don’t bring anything else into it, because not everyone there will agree with all the different issues being talked about.

  10. The politicians ignore that the majority of Australians actually support Equality. The general media only occassionally mention us.

    The more we can get the medias attention and the more we can show the politicians that there’s more votes with us than there are against us then we will win.

    If we go by stealth the politicians will keep going under the assumption that they can just keep ignoring us and throwing us crumbs. We need to keep reminding them of our existence, our votes, our families votes, the majorities votes.

  11. Here! Hear!! Aaron. What more publicity does our community need than the endless notifications of gay marriage rallies then those given by Australia’s leading Gay&Lesbian Newpaper? A lot of apathy on the general GLBT community. Let’s do it by stealth an simply demand equal Human Rights. Empower the good vicars at the MCC to perform their ceremonies for those wishing it. At this rate we’re never going to get equality What’s it going to take, a mass suicide rally? A ghastly hate crime directed against us? An alienating show of tits & bums in front of TV cameras?
    Yep Mardi Gras, the ball’s in your court!
    Love from Hell xo

  12. I am confused about voting for our rights too Adam….. It is sounding like voting Green is the best way to go….

    “I just don’t see how marching on Saturday will change anything, when it is out of focus.”

    However, what is the alternative???? To give up and throw our hands in the air???? I will be attending on Saturday.

  13. ERIC

    I agree, where are the Greens, or the Unions?

    I just don’t see how marching on Saturday will change anything, when it is out of focus.

    Mardi Gras should pull it’s finger out, and actually stand for the community, rather than exploit it. I think they should put their money where their mouths are, for once, and rekindle the flame.

    The political parties and groupd need a solid point to go to, a vocal point…. and i just don’t see Socialist (Alternative) being that point.

  14. I agree with Erin – I’m sick of seeing the Socialist Alliance being the soap box for my beliefs. I was at that rally at town hall and when I got there all I heard was Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, anti-capitalism… it was just another forum for them to get up and spout their agenda. I’m happy for them to show support, but since when did socialism have anything to do with being queer?
    I feel uncomfortable about having the right to marry my partner associated with them in any way – I do not want the gay community to be put under their political umbrella just because we all believe in gay marriage.

  15. Erin, if you don’t like the Socialists hogging the spotlight at GLBTI protests, don’t not go- bring as many as your friends and family as you can and outnumber them!

    And when they wander off track onto other issues, there’s no harm in yelling “stick to the point!”- I’m sure plenty of people would agree with you.

  16. Dear GLBT community.I am writing to you in desperation to make our votes count in this election.Previously I have always voted Labour and much prefer Gillard over Abbott. But I can not support any party that doesn’t entitle me to EQUAL rights without any “ifs and or buts”. I believe our civil rights should be prioritised as a No 1 concern. I am unapologetically proud to be gay and the GREENS think so too. We know Gillard or Abbott will win, but at least if we vote GREEN, together! we stand a better chance of being represented in our electorates by a party that will fight for us. Rally your family and friends, we need to make some noise. We are ALL worth it and together ONLY can we make a difference. Adam R – Alexandria

  17. Erin,
    The reason previous rallies have been small is precisely because it is only Socialist Alternative (not Socialist Alliance) who have been heavily involved in organising them. If more groups did the same then they would be bigger. That needs to change if the movement is going to gain momentum. This rally has received much more publicity than the last and the issue has been in the media much more too.

    I don’t think it’s a problem if socialist groups come with their magazines or flags to rallies and try to talk to people about other issues. Socialists have been a part of the gay rights movement for decades and the involvement of as many political forces as possible should be welcomed. The question should be: Where are the Greens with all of their members and banners? Where are the unions who officially support same-sex marriage rights and all of their members? And I agree that Mardi Gras should be political, but that will never happen unless this campaign takes off and unless individual groups and political parties make a push for it.

  18. Hey Pete,

    I went to show my support. I guess i’m just let down by the lack of specific focus.

    Hope it’s an enjoyable and productive day for you.



  19. Erin I will be there on saturday. I want to show my support. I generally like your comments .

  20. I attended a rally a few months back, and was dissappointed.

    Poor turnout for starters, but the one that had me scratching my head… and thinking never again…was the Social Alliance (who have been very supportive by hosting/Running/organising rallies) using the rally asa soapbox for every other issue on their agenda.

    I admit i was confused by the end as to what exactly i was rallying for.The end of the war in Afghanistan, the freeing of Tibet etc etc etc.

    Marriage Equality was mentioned, i’m sure… but along with the other plethora of issues, it got waylaid.

    The impact of the rally failed to shake me. I wasn’t in awe of the united GLBTQI community. I was left thinking ‘oh awesome… anyone who did want to give us a chance is now thinking the same thing as me… that we’re a bunch of sooks protesting everything,oh and Marriage Equality for good measure.

    My political leanings aside, i think if the GLBTQI community wants to rally then do so. Make Mardi Gras a massive, highly publicised MARRIAGE EQUALITY rally next year. Use it for the greater good, instead of as an excuse to get of your face and dance around half naked.

    Thats what the average joe sees as a representaion of our community every year.

    Family first Et Al don’t need much ammunition.