The ACT was the first jurisdiction in Australian history to legislate for marriage equality, acting on a deeply held conviction that in a modern, secular and mature society everyone deserves equality before the law.
It was belief held by a clear majority of the people of Canberra and still is today.
When the High Court ruled on the ACT’s legislation it was disappointing but it was about legal technicalities – not about the morality of ending marriage discrimination.
Despite what we’re seeing on the news, this issue isn’t about Tony Abbott or Bill Shorten and it’s not about the Australian Labor Party or the greens party or the liberal party (although it was nice to see so many members of these movements at the rally).
The win we’re about to have, and it’s coming, isn’t about politics or the last minute changes of hearts from politicians who want to be on the right side of history.
This win is about real people - it’s about everyone that came out to support this rally and those who’ve been campaigning and protesting for decades.
I’m certain that we wouldn’t have seen such community support at the rally if it hadn’t been for those of you who were protesting 10 years ago when politicians hesitated at the idea of marriage equality and told you to settle for civil unions.
We wouldn’t see such overwhelming public support like we do today if it wasn’t for those of who came to their first ever protest because they knew that this right was fundamental.
And for me it is clear that we wouldn’t have seen the support of thousands of other Canberrans at this event if it wasn’t for every LGBTIQ Australian who managed with extraordinary dignity to ignore the voices that said that they, their relationships and their families were second class.
I think this win is going to belong to every LGBTIQ person who just kept on loving, because I think it is the everyday love that the LGBTIQ people I know have for each other that has made equality undeniable to a huge majority of Australians.
Whether or not we like the person who makes the final speech in parliament – equality is coming – and when it does I hope we can all celebrate the contribution that was made by the 1000s of people around the country who won this because they wouldn’t compromise, because they wouldn’t be quiet and because they wouldn’t stop loving.
Well done to everyone who came out in support of marriage equality at the rally, calling on the federal Government to give a #FreeVote to remove the legal discrimination that exists in the definition of marriage in the Commonwealth Marriage Act.
If you support marriage equality and want to know more about what you can do to help win the fight email me at [email protected]
There are 4 courageous young women who've decided it's time for younger people to have their voices heard on marriage equality who are organising a youth led rally on Sunday, July 26 at 11:00am, please get along and support if you can: https://www.facebook.com/events/917202574985898/
Canberrans rally for marriage equality
24 June 2015