Ir­ish ayes smile on mar­riage equal­ity push

The Advertiser - - NEWS - PETER JEAN

IN Ire­land, mar­riage equal­ity cam­paign­ers urged sup­port­ers to “Ring your Granny”; in Australia, the cry is “Ring your rel­los” and ask them to vote “Yes”.

The “Yes” and “No” cases both for­mally launched their cam­paigns for the na­tional mar­riage equal­ity postal sur­vey at the week­end.

“Yes” cam­paign­ers are adopt­ing many of the tac­tics used in Ire­land, where mar­riage equal­ity was en­dorsed by a ma­jor­ity of vot­ers at a 2015 ref­er­en­dum. Ir­ish “Yes” cam­paign­ers en­cour­aged sup­port­ers to ask their el­derly rel­a­tives to back same-sex mar­riage.

Equal­ity Cam­paign cochair Alex Green­wich told an Ade­laide launch event that a grass­roots get-out-the-vote ef­fort was un­der way.

“We will be door­knock­ing as many doors as pos­si­ble. We will be ring­ing all our rel­los and we will be do­ing every­thing we can to make sure that Yes is a suc­cess,’’ he said.

In a sign of cross-party unity, Lib­eral De­fence In­dus­try Min­is­ter Christo­pher Pyne, La­bor Se­nate Leader Penny Wong and Greens Sen­a­tor Sarah Han­son-Young ap­peared to­gether at the Ade­laide launch.

At the launch of the “No” cam­paign in Sydney on Satur­day night, SA Aus­tralian Con­ser­va­tives Sen­a­tor Cory Ber- nardi warned that “weaponised” anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws and “le­gal war­fare” would be used against sup­port­ers of tra­di­tional mar­riage if the Mar­riage Act was changed to in­clude same-sex cou­ples.

“We’re un­der as­sault be­cause we’re on the right side of le­gal and moral his­tory,” Sen­a­tor Bernardi said. The anti-SSM cam­paign took to the air yes­ter­day, with a sky­writer scrawl­ing “Vote No” above Sydney.

Main pic­ture: MIKE BUR­TON/AAP

PO­LIT­I­CAL CLOUT: Christo­pher Pyne, Penny Wong and Alex Green­wich at the “Yes’’ cam­paign launch in Ade­laide yes­ter­day and, inset, Cory Bernardi speaks at the “No’’ cam­paign launch in Sydney on Satur­day.

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