Tiernan Brady writes that a lot has been achieved for marriage equality in Australia in the last four weeks, but outlines what has to come next to achieve the goal of equal marriage for the LGBT community there.
Here are just a few of the things that have been achieved to date. The Equality Campaign in Australia, and its allies and supporters have :
- Raised over $37,000 to fund a new campaign that has politicians feeling the heat. The message has been in shopping centres, cafes, billboards and airports around the entire country, not to mention running in prime time slots on Foxtel, Sky News and free-to-air channels.
- Sent thousands and thousands of faxes to politicians, with voters in every electorate contacting their MP with their powerful message. The quality and power of these messages must not be underestimated — politicians have been directly referencing these stories with them when they meet LGBT groups. A number of the MPs have started contacting and thanking marriage equality supporters who have shared their message.
- Made a huge impact on the Senate Inquiry into draft marriage equality legislation, with the committee releasing a cross-party consensus report — for the first time creating a pathway towards what marriage equality might look like in Australia. Over 100 LGBTI organisations and leaders welcomed this achievement, noting the gains that had been made and again reiterating what is needed for true equality under the law.
- Met in regional towns across the country. As just a taste, the LGBT community have met up in Albury, Tamworth, Kiama, Shepparton, Armidale, Torquay, Redcliffe, Berwick, Grafton, Brisbane, Coffs Habour, Port Macquarie, Box Hill, Nowra, Lismore, Box Hill, Berwick and more. (Despite what some might say, marriage equality is not just an Oxford St issue — regional and rural Australians are incredibly passionate about equality).
- Powered by supporters, they have lobbied their politicians at every opportunity. They have even gathered them together for an event in Parliament House to talk about marriage equality, and it is phenomenal to see how support for equality is increasing across both houses.
That’s just some of what has been achieved. But what comes next? Politicians are currently home in their electorate offices and will begin heading back to Canberra this weekend. And yet again, they won’t be able to hide from marriage equality.
The Equality Campaign will keep in touch with how supporters can help make marriage equality a reality at the local level, but here are two things they can do to make some national noise right now:
- Send a message to their local member, so it is waiting for them when they arrive in their office on Monday.
- Chip-in to keep the advert running to make sure that, wherever they turn, they are reminded the majority of Australians believe in marriage equality.
The Equality Campaign have support all across Australia, so now getting marriage equality through the parliament should just be a numbers game. The more people who contact their MPs with honest, personal and persuasive messages, the closer they get to Parliament allowing a vote — and the more politicians who commit that they will vote yes to marriage equality.
Tiernan Brady feels that they are going to achieve marriage equality, together.
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