– by Sophia Joyce
When we think of the words ‘marriage equality’, what do we think of? We all might have a different answer to that but there are two common views. Marriage equality can be between men and women, women and women or men and men, or can only be between a man and a woman.
A poll started by the Australian Marriage Equality Organisation asked all Australians whether or not they supported marriage equality and it was a resounding yes, as 64% believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and 76% want a conscience vote on the debate.
After the legalisation of same sex marriage in the USA and Ireland, it has sparked a number of serious rallies and debates across Australia questioning and fighting the Australian government on their stance on marriage equality.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a long time opponent of marriage equality says that his priorities are national security and the economy, not marriage reform. His opinion on the matter remains “unchanged”, despite his sister being engaged to a woman. He also believes that same sex marriage is “the fashion of the moment.”
Opposition Bill Shorten says, “It’s time for our laws to reflect the values of modern Australia and to include everyone as equals. It’s time for marriage equality. Whatever your religious views about marriage, I believe we have to change this law, which discriminates against adult couples on the basis of who they love.”
The most recent rally in Perth gained support from 17,000 Facebook members on an event started by GetUp and 5,000 people who gathered in Northbridge in brightly coloured clothes, braving the rain.
“What’s the best thing about the rain? It’s rainbow season,” Australian Marriage Equality Deputy National Director Ivan Hinton-Teoh told the Perth rally.
The same sex marriage rally called upon Mr. Abbott and the federal government to allow a conscience vote on marriage equality and to listen to the people of Australia.
“What do we want? Free vote. When do we want it? August.”
The Liberal Party is set to decide whether to allow a conscience vote on marriage equality on August 18th. This means that if the debate is successful, Australian’s will be allowed to have a say on same sex marriage and it could be legal throughout Australia.
“Love is love.”
Show your support here at the GetUp Campaign
Photo Credits: Featured Image by Ross Swanborough; Rally Image by Bohdan Warchomij; Flag Image by AFP Photo