Marriage Equality Rally On Bleak Anniversary Held In Sydney

Twelve years ago, the government excluded LGBT Australians from the Marriage Act.

13/08/2016 3:52 PM AEST | Updated 13/08/2016 7:41 PM AEST
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Protesters gathered outside Sydney Town Hall in support of marriage equality.

A passionate marriage equality rally has taken place in Sydney on the twelfth anniversary of the government's decision to exclude LGBT Australians from the Marriage Act.

Students, politicians and activists alike joined forces today, labeling the government's plebiscite on same-sex marriage "the biggest roadblock" and renewing calls for a parliamentary vote.

National LGBTI Officer for The National Union of Students April Holcombe said the spirit of the movement is about utilising grass roots democracy, people power and taking to the streets to put pressure on the government and demonstrate the scale of community support for marriage equality.

"We have the numbers in parliament now to get on with the job and to put in a bill and to pass it," Holcombe said.

"We've had majority support of the population for the last nine years."

The large crowd gathered at the Sydney Town Hall to hear speeches from the likes of Labor Senator Jenny Mcallister, Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi and Gay rights activist Peter Murphy.

"We have two propositions put before us: one is of course the Labor party's proposition and the proposition of all progressive people in the Australian parliament," said Senator Jenny Mcallister.

"That is, the parliament ought to vote on marriage equality. That it ought to do it's job."

Lucy Quaggin
Passionate advocates get behind the LGBTI community.

Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi reminded the crowd that opponents of marriage equality have often said that you can't change the definition of marriage.

But on this day, in 2004, the Howard government did change the definition of marriage -- to be a union between a man and a woman.

"Now is the the time for federal parliamentarians from all parties to align with the overwhelming opinion of the Australian people that says this change needs to happen -- and it needs to happens now," Farqui said.

"No ifs, no buts, no plebiscite, no more excuses."

Gay rights activist Peter Murphy rallied support for those hit with discrimination, prejudice and violence as LGBTI people.

Mr Murphy was badly injured when he was arrested and bashed for trying to parade 1978 Mardi Gras, an incident the government formally apologised for earlier this year.

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