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Jul05

Encouraging your local MP to vote for marriage equality

CREATED ON // Saturday, 05 July 2014 Written by // Rodney Croome

This week sees the beginning of something unparalleled in Australian LGBTI history.

Key national marriage equality advocates will spend three days in Geelong and Colac in Victoria talking to civic and business leaders, marriage equality supporters and the general public about the importance of lobbying their local member to vote for marriage equality.

We will be speaking at town hall meetings, workshops, market stalls and local media conferences.

The week after that we will be in Albury and then on the Gold Coast soon after that.

The process will be repeated in up to 50 electorates across the nation in the coming months, from Townsville to Broken Hill to Launceston and everywhere in between.

Never before has an LGBTI human rights campaign spread its wings so widely across the nation, or trod so many suburban and rural streets mustering support.

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The aim of all this grassroots campaigning is to encourage Liberal MPs to support a conscience vote and to ensure we have the extra 25 Liberal and Labor votes we need for marriage equality to pass, once a conscience vote is given.

The 50 electorates have been chosen because their MPs may be persuaded to support marriage equality, or have said they will take their cue from their voters.

We will still be lobbying in parliament house and campaigning among key inner-city constituencies.

But the wholly unwarranted jitters some MPs have about marriage equality means they need to hear the cry for reform in their local area.

Our message to the people we meet will be: ‘You could be the one’.

Your personal story could tip your local MP into supporting reform.

Your local MP could be the one whose vote gets marriage equality across the line.

In a situation this unpredictable; where pressure is mounting inside and outside Australia, and where partisan, religious and ideological lines are blurring, anyone could suddenly find themselves in the marriage equality hot seat.

As many marriage equality supporters as possible need to be ready for that moment by being skilled and empowered to present a cogent case for reform.

Our national grassroots campaign will help make sure of it.

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Rodney Croome

Rodney Croome

Rodney Croome is the Campaign Co-ordinator of the Tasmanian gay and Lesbian Rights Group and the National Convener of Australian Marriage Equality. Visit his blog at rodneycroome.id.au.

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