Thursday, 1 December 2011

SPEAK NOW for Marriage Equality

Australian Marriage Equality rally on Saturday 3rd Dec., from 12 noon, in Sydney's Hyde Park.

The rally, which has the support of the City of Sydney, will move from Hyde Park North to the Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. 

It's a critical time to speak up; after months of lobbying, the long-awaited National Conference of the ALP is poised to consider either adopting a binding policy in favour of equality or, following the lead of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to permit politicians to vote according to their conscience on this issue. 

As Tim Wright has written in his contribution to SPEAK NOW:
   Julia Gillard’s ascension to the Labor Party leadership in June 2010 briefly raised hopes that reform to the Marriage Act was finally within our grasp. A declared atheist and (at least nominally) a member of the party’s left faction, she has the pedigree of a marriage equality supporter. Indeed, in 2006, she launched a book that I edited titled Time for Change: Australia in the 21st Century, which rejected many of the Howard Government’s policies, including its opposition to same-sex marriage. But it was not to be. The new prime minister declared her support for the ‘traditional’ definition of marriage shortly after assuming the top job, which bewildered progressives and would plague her during the August election campaign.


It became apparent during that campaign that Ms. Gillard was not prepared  to 'move forward' (her election slogan) on marriage equality, content instead to position Australia to the rear of advanced nations such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, and recently, Brazil, as well as some states in the U.S. (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, D.C., New York) all of which have changed their relevant laws to allow equality.  Since that time Ms. Gillard has relied heavily on the plank in the Party platform that privileges opposite sex partnerships and the Australian Christian Lobby continues to run a fearful campaign to defend the conventional arrangement.

You can e-mail your Federal Labor rep. through this site: http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/laborconference

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