Gay marriage advocates are protesting again on November 20 to call for marriage equality for everybody.

Campaigners will hit the street one week before the Victorian state election, calling for the door to be opened to allow GLBTI people to marry their partners.

Comedian Hannah Gadsby will co-host the rally, and fellow funny-man Josh Thomas, Education Minister Bronwyn Pike and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will show their support.

Equal Love spokeswoman Ali Hogg told Southern Star Observer recent comments by University of NSW law professor and constitutional expert George Williams that the states have the power to enact same-sex marriage laws would be raised.

“We’re having Bronwyn Pike on the stage. One of the questions we’ll be asking of her is what they are doing now it has come to light that states are able to legislate [for equal marriage],” Hogg said.

“We’re obviously more for it being a federal law ­— when the states have been approached they say this is a federal issue — but it gives a bit more ground to put pressure on the state government as well as the federal government.”

The Star has also learned that, while a supporter in the past, the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby has quietly moved away from involvement in the Equal Love rallies, saying it wants to focus on other GLBTI concerns.

Hogg said the two groups still had a working relationship, but did not agree on the use of the term ‘marriage equality’.

“We’ve thought about using the term same-sex marriage, but we understand some people in the trans community might feel that it’s not representative of their campaign for equal marriage rights,” she said.

“So we’ve changed our posters to reflect that because we don’t want people feeling like they aren’t represented.”
Hogg said Equal Love is campaigning for the federal Marriage Act to be gender neutral.

“Our position has always been to change the institution that marriage is between a man and a women, so it’s about consenting adults, so that would include trans people and intersex.”

VGLRL convenor Sarah Rogan said the Lobby’s support for marriage equality had not changed, however the organisation wants to focus on other areas, including federal anti-discrimination laws and same-sex adoption rights.

“The Lobby will continue to have discussions with politicians on a broad range of issues including equal marriage,” she said.

“There was a lot of discussion before we arrived at the decision … it was decided Equal Love should continue to organsise the marriage rallies as they are best placed to continue with the campaign on the streets.

“The Lobby still supports equal marriage … it is a very high priority for us, but not the only priority.”

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