Hot crowds full of equal love at Melbourne rally
Over 1500 Melburnians braved harsh sun and sweltering heat to rally for marriage equality at the Victorian State Library over the weekend.
Despite a public transport meltdown, which prevented access to many services in parts of Melbourne’s western and regional areas, the enthusiastic crowd remained in good spirits in the 33 degree heat.
Many participants showed their support and dressed in a variety of colourful costumes and decorated their bodies with painted rainbows and symbols of love to enforce the message of equality.
Guest speakers, including recently out VFL footballer, Jason Ball and Greens politicians Adam Bandt and Sue Pennicuik energised the crowd with dominant speeches.
ALP member Jane Garrett also read a message of full support from Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews.
“If you believe in equality, you must believe in equality in all aspects of life, that is why I support marriage equality,” the address read.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Rodney Croome, also empowered the crowd, and said the cross-section of people present indicated widespread support.
“I think it was a clear demonstration that there’s still strong support for marriage equality in the community, and that the issues are not going away,” he said.
Croome also said that similar, recent rallies in regional towns are an indication that the marriage equality debate is a key issue for rural Australians.
“It’s important that the profile of the issue is maintained in the city, but it’s even more important to see these kinds of rallies in regional and rural Australia,” he said.
“In the last few weeks, there have been rallies in Albury, Gladstone and Launceston, and they have been important events for raising the profile of the issue,”
Equal Love convenor Ali Hogg applauded the crowd’s passion and said Equal Love is now looking to future protests in 2013.
“When Abbott and Gillard voted the marriage equality bill down in September this year, they sent a message that we should go back into our closets, get off the streets and stop asking for equal rights,” she said.
“We are going to continue protesting in 2013 and try to convince anyone that might be demoralised by the Parliament to keep up the fight,”
“As we have learnt from history, they never give into us without people [who are] determined to take a stand,” she said.
“People are determined as ever to continue the fight.”
(Image) Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt speaking at Saturday’s Equal Love Rally.