Sydney’s Holdsworth House Medical Practice is hosting a charity art and entertainment event to support marriage equality this evening.
All ticket sales are being donated to Australian Marriage Equality.
Sydney drag favourites including Verushka Darling will also make an appearance.
Practice GP Dr Robert Burton came up with the idea for the fundraiser after attending the massive Sydney marriage equality rally earlier this month.
“I was overwhelmed by the positivity of the event, the sense of community, and the determination of the other attendees,” he said.
“I was also impressed by the diversity and craftsmanship that went into people’s signs and placards. I thought hosting an event, capturing the electricity of the Sydney rally, whilst allowing people to share their stories, would make a compelling art exhibition.
“My bosses at Holdsworth House Medical Practice loved the idea and The Art of Equality exhibition was born.”
Dr Burton said marriage equality is important to improve the wellbeing of LGBTI Australians.
“As one of Sydney’s biggest LGBTI-friendly medical practices, we have been a part of the community for decades,” he said.
“We see on daily basis the effects on health and general wellbeing through our patients feeling a little less equal—not having the same rights as others under the law. We see the health argument for marriage equality and are proud to support it. We want to make ‘yes’ a reality.”
Patients have been distressed and unwell because of the hurtful anti-LGBTI rhetoric during the marriage debate, Dr Burton said.
“Our patients are presenting to us with acute emotional distress, severe low mood, feelings of worthlessness and anxiety,” he said.
“They directly relate these symptoms to the homophobic comments and bullying that this ‘debate’ has provoked.
“I think we are all going to need to take some time for healing after this is over. For those struggling with the ongoing debate at the moment, it is important that they reach out. There are people and services around to help and it will get better.”
The event ticket price of $150 includes free-flowing Moët, wine and canapés. The practice art collection will be on display, alongside a showcase of pictures, placards and stories from marriage equality rallies held around Australia.
The huge night of art and entertainment for a good cause begins at 6 pm this evening. More details and tickets are available online.
If you need mental health support during the marriage equality debate, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.