Thousands of Australians marched across the country on Saturday calling on whichever party wins next month’s election to legalise same-sex marriages as soon as possible. Protesters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth carried rainbow flags and signs which read “Equality now”. Some dressed up in costumes of former primer minister Tony Abbott, an opponent of same-sex marriage, who was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull in a party room coup last September. Gay Labor candidate Pat O'Neill, who marched in Brisbane, said the election would give the gay community a “voice at the ballot box”.
There’s kind of a sense that this just needs to be put to a vote in Parliament and it just needs to happen. The delaying and the messing around is just not acceptable
Organiser Louise O'Shae, from Equal Love
Conservative Mr Turnbull supports same-sex marriage and has pledged a public vote on the issue before the end of 2016. The Labor opposition will skip a public vote and introduce a bill to parliament within 100 days if it wins the election. The polls have the parties run neck-and-neck ahead of the election on July 2. Greens Senator Larissa Waters told the crowd a public vote was a waste of time. “It’s not going to be binding on their (government) members - what a joke,” she said.
It’s about something very simple — love is love, fair is fair, and equality is not negotiable
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews