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Big Names Support Equal Love

This past Sunday 19th July, Equal Love Victoria celebrated a launch party for what is shaping up to be their biggest ever campaign supporting same-sex marriage ever to be held in Melbourne. And big names have showed support to the cause. Victorian Education Minister and senior ALP member Bronwyn Pike joined volunteer run Equal Love campaigners three weeks ago on the steps of Old Treasury to support marriage equality for all Australians, speaking in support of same-sex marriage.

Check out our photos from the Equal Love Launch party here.

“The ALP has a strong history of socially progressive reforms that it is proud of. We can always take positive steps by leading the way to eliminate discrimination and provide a ‘fair go’ for all Australians,” she said.

“We need to continue our efforts in relation to marriage equality.”

Minister Pike’s speech marked the official launch of the Equal Love campaign, a national movement for marriage equality that will culminate in a National Action Day on August 1, featuring mass illegal weddings in major cities across Australia.

Former Australian Idol finalist, star of the musical Wicked and current contestant on Dancing With The Stars, Rob Mills, also showed his support for same-sex marriage rights in Australia. In a recent interview on Joy FM Mills said “Stand up for your love rights… I believe in equal love for all, which is why I urge you all to attend the National Day of Action rally on August 1st from 1pm at Federation Square!

“I can’t believe that in Australia in 2009 we still don’t allow same-sex couples to get married. The rest of the world does; it’s high time that we did as well. Allowing same-sex couples to marry has no effect on anyone else. Those couples are happy because they can get married, and it doesn’t take away anything from anyone else. So of course we should allow it. It’s kind of a no-brainer!”

Equal Love’s six-week campaign targets all Australians, including ALP National Conference delegates as they prepare their National Policy Platform. It’s shaping up to be Equal Love’s ‘biggest rally ever’ with Equal Love organisers saying they expect this year’s rally on August 1 to be the biggest public demonstration of support for same-sex marriage ever to be held in Melbourne, with protesters numbering in the thousands, not hundreds.

“Five years ago, a vocal minority convinced the Howard Government to alter the Marriage Act. The federal government of the time chose to actively discriminate against one group of Australians because of who they love,” said Victoria’s Equal Love spokesperson Martin Baldock.

“That time has passed… A moral majority of Australians are now speaking out to say – this kind of discrimination has gone on long enough.”

A recent Galaxy poll shows 60% of Australians support same-sex marriage fueling campaigners to fight harder for the rights that the majority of Australians clearly want.

“We urge the new government to undo the damage of the old. We call on them to give same-sex couples the same rights as all Australians. It’s time to make marriage equal. Australia is ready. The time for change is now,” Baldock said.

Equal Love’s National Day of Action has traditionally been the anniversary of the federal government’s same-sex marriage ban. But this year it will be two weeks earlier, to coincide with the Australian Labor Party’s triennial national conference where party heavyweights will gather to revise the party’s national platform.

Equal Love’s campaign is designed to make the most of the opportunity to pressure the governing party to change its outdated and discriminatory policy on same-sex marriage during the conference. According to Equal Love campaigners, it is unlikely that the federal government will support marriage equality as long as the Labor Party platform clearly rejects it, which is why timing the protest with the ALP national conference is so important.

Equal Love campaigners have also created five fun, web-based ads, to inform and educate all Australians about the issue of same-sex marriage. A new one is uploaded to the Equal Love website page every Friday from June 25 to July 24 2009. The ads feature Bek Chapman as “Equality” and Daniel Purdey as “The Australian Government” and they address issues and myths surrounding same-sex marriage.

The five ads produced by Equal Love all feature two main characters, the Australian Government and Equality. Today’s ad also includes a new character, Apathy. He’s a supporter of same-sex marriage, but plans to stay at home on August 1. The Australian Government happily endorses this “course of inaction” and records his decision to stay at home as a vote for the status quo – that is a vote against same-sex marriage. Equality points this out to Apathy who, outraged, declares that “Nobody speaks for me, but me” and decides to go along on August 1st to make his voice heard!

“We’re using humour to try to get across a more serious message”, said Meighen Katz, Equal Love spokesperson and producer of the online ads. “In this case the message is that nothing will change unless we all actually take action and make it very clear to the government that we will just not tolerate having a significant section of society treated as second-class citizens and denied the right to marry the person they love.”

Equal Love today launched its fourth online advertisement designed to shake people out of their apathy and remind them that “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing”. The ads comes as the fourth in a series of five, all designed to inform and educate the Australian public and politicians about the importance of equal rights for same-sex couples.

Check it out below:

“We urge everyone in Melbourne and the surrounding region to head into Federation Square at 1pm this August 1st, even if you’re not normally a politically active person. This will be your one chance to make your presence felt and take part in an historic movement for equal rights. It doesn’t even matter whether you want to get married or not,” says Equal Love spokesperson Meighen Katz.

All we’re saying to the government is that all Australians should have the dignity of equal rights – including the right to be able to decide whether to marry or not. If you think we all deserve equality then come along on August 1st and let the government know!”

The other important way that people can make their voices heard in support of same-sex marriage is by making a submission to the Senate Inquiry into equal marriage.

Whether you write one line one line or three pages, Equal Love campaigners encourage as many people as possible to make a submission to the inquiry by visiting before the closing date for submissions on July 31st.

The National Day of Action for same-sex marriage is Saturday, August 1st, 2009. In Melbourne, there will be a rally at Federation Square at 1pm, followed by a march up Swanston and Bourke Streets to the Marriage Registry office where a world-record attempt will take place for the largest mass illegal wedding ceremony ever. To see the rest of the adverts click here.

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Christian Taylor

Christian Taylor said on the 21st Jul, 2009

you know what, i really like the apathy character. that's a great point to make - that apathy is the same as voting against gay marriage...


Tails said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

So who going to Federation square on the 1st august for the march then?

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

Hi Tails! My partner and I will definitely be there. It could be a great opportunity for another SS get together? Perhaps before or after the rally?


bRid said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

i'll be there with my girl for sure i can't wait!


paxie said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

Don't forget to make your submission ;)


Tails said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

Yes mum, I have made my submission lol.


Tails said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

Yes it would be great to get together with other samesamers. I will be there if my partner is allowed, she has to have permission as she in the army.


bRid said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

oh i have done my submission dont you worry! we should definetly have drinks afterwards i will be all pumped up


Paiyrx said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

*sigh* I'd march then but I'm heading of to Victoria for a week :(


Tails said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

Maybe we should choose a meeting place for drinks afterwards. Any suggestions?


bRid said on the 22nd Jul, 2009

lounge on swanston street is pretty good


paxie said on the 23rd Jul, 2009

Lounge is a cool place indeed :)

...i like the downstairs one too...dim and cozy couch haha

Yes...I'm a self proclaimed fan of a dim place :D


Tails said on the 23rd Jul, 2009

It looks like i can't come now, Nic is not allowed, she cannot been seen disagreeing with the government. I am pissed now :(

Maybe we can walk by but if Nic gets seen she will be in trouble. Will there be cameras there?