Aus­tralians rally in sup­port of same-sex mar­riage

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Thou­sands of peo­ple ral­lied in Aus­tralian cities over the week­end in sup­port of same-sex mar­riage, as politi­cians across mul­ti­ple par­ties pre­pared to sub­mit a bill to make the unions a le­gal right.

More than 4,000 gath­ered in cen­tral Syd­ney Syd­ney in a col­or­ful march, chant­ing “Put the bill, pass the bill, mar­riage rights now!” and car­ry­ing ban­ners read­ing “Love is love.”

“We’re go­ing to come back to the streets again and again un­til we win,” march or­ga­nizer Rachel Evans from ac­tivist group Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Against Ho­mo­pho­bia told the cheer­ing crowd.

Sim­i­lar ral­lies were held in Perth on Sun­day and in Bris­bane and Ho­bart on Satur­day. Sup­port­ers of mar­riage equal­ity will hold ral­lies in Mel­bourne and Ade­laide next week­end.

“This is the height of the cam­paign,” Evans told AFP in Syd­ney. “It’s one of the largest ral­lies.”

One of those tak­ing part, Matthew Higgs, said he was raised by his mother and her part­ner and wanted equal rights for them.

“She’s been with her part­ner for a long time,” he told AFP.

Sally Rugg, with ac­tivist group GetUp, told the crowd that sup­port for the is­sue went be­yond mar­riage rights and sent a mes­sage to the com­mu­nity that gay peo­ple were ac­cepted.

A back­bencher from the rul­ing Lib­eral Party — sec­onded by an op­po­si­tion La­bor rep­re­sen­ta­tive and with co-spon­sors from other par­ties — was set to in­tro­duce a mar­riage equal­ity bill as par­lia­ment re­sumes this week.

Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott, a staunch Catholic who op­poses changes to the Mar­riage Act, last month played down prospects of the pri­vate mem­ber’s bill be­ing de­bated and voted on in par­lia­ment.

His con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment is op­posed to gay mar­riage and the party has pre­vi­ously re­fused to al­low a con­science vote among its mem­bers, in con­trast to the La­bor op­po­si­tion.

A vote on the is­sue in 2012 was de­feated 98-42 af­ter Ab­bott — whose sis­ter Chris­tine is gay — did not al­low his MPs, then in op­po­si­tion, to break party lines.

But there has been in­creas­ing sup­port for same-sex mar­riage, with a poll last year find­ing those in fa­vor of equal rights had reached a record high of 72 per­cent.

There has also been grow­ing pres­sure on the is­sue fol­low­ing the U.S. Supreme Court’s re­cent rul­ing le­gal­iz­ing same-sex mar­riage na­tion­wide, and Ire­land’s ref­er­en­dum in fa­vor of gay mar­riage.

Lo­cal celebri­ties in­clud­ing Hol­ly­wood ac­tor Hugo Weav­ing are set to star in a se­ries of “We Can Do This” tele­vi­sion ad­ver­tise­ments air­ing from Sun­day and sup­ported by gay rights group Aus­tralian Mar­riage Equal­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.