Returning to the Grassroots
It’s time for the Australian marriage equality movement to take stock.
Legislation allowing same-sex marriages was defeated in both house of federal parliament in September.
A state same-sex marriage law was narrowly defeated in the Tasmanian Upper House a week later.
Meanwhile, Alex Greenwich, the face of the marriage equality campaign for several years, has just been elected to the NSW Lower House as an independent, leaving me to fill his role.
All these developments raise important questions.
What have groups like Australian Marriage Equality and Equal Love been doing right and what have we been doing wrong?
What new directions do we need to take to increase the possibility of reform?
How do we increase and consolidate the majority for change, and increase the involvement of potential change-makers?
AME has its own ideas of the future direction of the marriage equality campaign.
The upcoming federal election gives us an opportunity to secure an all-important conscience vote from the Coalition.
Legislation before the NSW, SA, WA, Victorian and Tasmanian parliaments continues to hold out the possibility of reform at a local level.
A recent groundswell of marriage equality activism in regional Queensland and Tasmania can be a model for the rest of regional Australia.
AME will prioritise all these pathways to marriage equality.
To find out more about our four track roadmap to reform visit our website: www.australianmarriageequality.com
But advocates like me don’t have all the answers.
Marriage equality is a movement not an issue, and at watershed moments like these it must return to its roots if it is move forward.
AME has initiated two community forums on the future of marriage equality in November.
The first, co-sponsored with the VGLRL, will be 6pm, November 15, at VicHealth, 15-31 Pelham Street, Carlton, Melbourne.
The second, co-sponsored with the NSW GLRL, will be 3.30pm, November 25, at the Beresford Hotel, 354 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.
Both will feature contributions from key advocates as well as an opportunity for audience contribution and discussion.
Forums in other cities will follow.
I urge everyone with an interest in progressing marriage equality to come along and air their thoughts.