Over 10,000 supporters marched in Sydney demanding the Australian Labor Government to legalize the Same Sex Marriage in Australia. National Day of Action for Same Sex Marriage (1st August) took place simultaneously in several cities in Australia. Among them were Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Lismore, Tasmania and Perth. Marchers of Sydney first gathered at the Town Hall Square then marched down to the Darling Harbour where Australian Labour Party (ALP) National Convention was happening.
An inquiry follows the tabling of a private members bill by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which, if passed, would grant same-sex couples equal marriage rights and recognize unions entered into abroad. The bill seeks to remove all discrimination from the Marriage Act 1961 on the basis of sexuality and gender identity and to permit marriage regardless of sex, sexuality and gender identity.
Rally at the Town Hall Square kicked off with Order of Australia Recipient and an Aboriginal activist Karen Brown (image 9 of 35) welcoming the gathering to the aboriginal land (now Sydney) of the Eora nation of the Gadigal people. Sydney City Lord Mayor Clover Moore
(image 27 of 37) speaking at the rally said “as a matter of simple equality, same sex couples are entitled to the full range of relationship options available to different sex couples, including marriages for those who choose it.” It has been three years since the Australian Parliament voted to explicitly deny all Australians the right to marry the person of their choice and to recognize all marriages solemnised overseas. Any decent society “should recognize, value and support loving relationships. Marriage should be available to any couple – whether gay, lesbian or straight – making a life commitment to each other. Spain, the Netherlands, Canada and Belgium have done this – but Australia has taken the opposite course because of prejudice, ignorance and lack of logic” added Ms Moore.
Greens Parliamentarian Lee Rhiannon
(image 33 of 35) stated that recent polls showed 60% Australians supporting for the same sex marriage and she asked but “why are key figures - Rudd, Turnbull and now Gillard pushing hardline to say no marriage for same sex couples”. Rainbow Laour activist Matthew Loader (image 12 of 35) too addressed the rally. Rainbow Labor is the grassroots internal organisation for LGBT (The Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender) Labor members and supporters.
Karl Hand, pastor of CRAVE Metropolitan Community Church officiated dozens of illegal same sex marriages and marriage certificates were issued accordingly. Pastor Hand facilitates same sex couples of different age and sex to take their wedding wows. Katrina Fox,
freelance journalist, actor and performer was the MC for Sydney National Day of Action. Morrie May-welby, activist and entertainer performed at the rally at the Darling Harbour. Heidi Claus, National Union of Students Queer Officer, was among the speakers.