While the marriage equality plebiscite seems all but doomed to be blocked in the Senate, Australia's LGBTI community is pushing forward with a new call for a free vote in parliament.
Labor has committed to voting against the plebiscite bill, meaning that even though the bill passed the House last week, the government will not have enough numbers to pass the legislation in the Senate. Coalition members have said that the plebiscite is the only way forward for marriage equality in the near future, but marriage equality campaigners are gearing up to lobby hard for a free vote in the parliament instead.
Australian Marriage Equality will screen a new ad on free-to-air and pay TV. The push is called 'The Equality Campaign' and its opening salvo is this video featuring a community coming together to paint a rainbow coloured map of Australia on a blank wall, surrounded by tags like 'for my mums', 'for fairness', 'for commitment' and 'for love'.
"Australians are coming together like never before to ensure every couple is treated fairly under the law," reads the video's tagline.
A recent ReachTel poll found 60 percent of Australians support marriage equality. The same poll found support for a plebiscite was around 51.7 percent, and a free parliamentary vote at 48.3 percent.
Accompanying the video is an online campaign featuring the stories of people affected by marriage equality -- couples, children and more. Click here to read the stories of people like Ben, who has two mums, and couple De and Kirstie.
"The Equality Campaign is about building on the momentum and energy generated across the nation for marriage equality and continuing to campaign for a straightforward change to be achieved by a vote in the parliament," co-chair of Australians for Equality, Anna Brown said.
"This campaign is about putting the human face of the issue back in the centre of the discussion. It is based on the importance of human stories and the message to LGBTI people, their families and friends that collectively we can be the agent of change."
The campaign's organisers say the push will include helping supporters lobby MPs, and holding community events and forums.
"This campaign will continue our work across the nation, bringing supporters together, holding community events and forums to change the hearts and minds of communities across Australia," said co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich.
"We will also continue to call on our supporters across all political parties who support marriage equality to work together to find a pathway for a free vote in the parliament."
If you think the image of a rainbow Australia appears to be the same as the one featured in the Say I Do Down Under campaign, you're not wrong. AME told The Huffington Post Australia that it had allowed the Say I Do campaign, which has enlisted Hollywood stars and music icons to call for marriage equality in Australia (including Margot Robbie, Dolly Parton, Ian McKellan, Kylie Minogue and Sia), to borrow their logo and that the two campaigns are working in unison.