LGBTI rights groups Equal Love and Australian Marriage Equality will jointly lead Melbourne’s upcoming Pride March under a united theme of marriage equality.

The announcement was made by Midsumma Festival this morning at St Kilda Town Hall where rainbow flags were raised to launch Pride March celebrations.

Rainbow flag Pride March

Rainbow flag being raised at St. Kilda Town Hall. (PHOTO: Matthew Wade; Star Observer)

This year is the first time in the city’s annual Pride March history that it will focus on a particular issue of inequality for the LGBTI community.

Equal Love spokesperson Anthony Wallace said that by leading the march it will send an important message to the Federal Government.

“We’re very upset that Malcolm Turnbull has taken up Tony Abbott’s suggestion of a plebiscite,” he told the Star Observer.

“Marriage equality advocates were initially very happy to think that in the next parliament the first bill presented would be voted on, as it was the formal position.

“So we’re very disappointed that the Liberal party haven’t held their word in holding a free vote in the next parliament.”

In leading the march, Wallace said he had a simple message for Turnbull.

“Do what’s right, and do what you’ve been saying long before you got the top job,” he said.

“That’s to enshrine equality in law for the LGBTI community.

“A lot of people are thinking he’s our greatest ally when it fact he’s done us a lot of damage because he’s taken a vote off the table and said the way forward is a plebiscite.”

Over 130 organisations have already registered to take part in Pride March Victoria, which will run along Fitzroy St, St Kilda.

Anthony Wallace from Equal Love speaks at the raising of the rainbow flag in St Kilda this morning. (PHOTO: Matthew Wade; Star Observer)

Anthony Wallace from Equal Love speaks at the raising of the rainbow flag in St Kilda this morning. (PHOTO: Matthew Wade; Star Observer)

Australian Marriage Equality Victorian director Tim Peppard also had a simple message for the Federal Government.

“The key message from us leading the Pride March is that the community supports marriage equality, and this year we will only vote for individual members of parliament who support marriage equality,” he told the Star Observer.

“It’s very symbolic that Equal Love and Australian Marriage Equality are marching together… we have a joint aim of achieving marriage equality in this country.

“I personally think we will have it within six months of the next federal election.”

Pride March will take place on Sunday, January 31 along St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street.

The Star Observer is a proud media partner of Midsumma.

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