Around one hundred students and protesters gathered in wet and windy conditions at the State Library on the weekend, demanding the government put same-sex marriage back on the agenda.
The rally was organised by the National Union of Students to hand over a petition of 30,000 signatures to Australian Greens senator, Sarah Hanson-Young. The South Australian senator lodged an amendment to the Marriage Act last week in the Senate which was only supported by the Greens.
Hanson-Young, who will table the petition in parliament, addressed the crowd, calling shame on -œout of touch major parties for voting the amendment down.
-œI think a campaign that has collected over 30,000 signatures for same-sex marriage is quite significant and it’s really, really important to be able to show that to parliamentarians who are so out of touch with what the community is wanting and what the community is comfortable with, she told Southern Star.
-œThe reality is the community is ready for it, they are talking about it, they don’t actually care, they think people should be given the same rights regardless, it seems to be that it’s politicians who are out of step.
Hanson-Young said the petition signified the start of a broader campaign for marriage equality, calling for the issue to be fought again in parliament on moral grounds and with a conscience vote.
-œSo even if it does keep it on the public and parliamentary agenda then that’s much better than nothing being there at all.
NUS national queer officer James Vigus said he was happy with the turnout despite the weather and also rallied the crowd around the issue of voluntary student unionism, saying queer departments will remain underfunded with the government’s new scheme which will allow university administrations to deliver fees funding.