The fight for gay marriage rights is continuing to build up momentum, with thousands of Australians protesting across the country at the national Rally for Marriage Equality, which took place Saturday August 11.
The Perth protest at Stirling Gardens pulled a crowd estimated at over a thousand people; good weather and a large turn-out contributed to high energies that captured the attention of on-lookers.
Speeches by Lynn MacLaren – Greens MLC for the South Metropolitan area, Labor Senator Louise Pratt, Bec Leighton from the National Union of Students, as well as Amber Maxwell (Equal Love WA) and Sam Cavalarro (Curtin University Queer Officer) – highlighted the need to continue fighting, as well as the rapidly changing climate for the LGBTIQ community worldwide.
‘There is a rainbow tsunami of change for marriage equality that is encircling the globe. Eleven countries now have the right to marry same sex couples. Eleven. In the United States there are ten states which have gone ahead of their federal government and said “time has come”’, said MacLaren.
MacLaren called to end this fight for equality, and the need to make room for other pressing issues –
‘We have reached a point of inevitability; time has come for us to move on to new campaigns. Eight years it’s been. There are kids here who were born after John Howard changed the laws, eight years they have lived in Australia thinking that marriage was just a right between a man and a woman’, she said.
Pratt highlighted the drastic change in Australian values in the last five years in favour of marriage equality, with support changing from 17% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.
‘It is thanks to the hard work of activists and communities… we are ordinary Australians, queer Australians that deserve the same equality as our heterosexual friends. This is more than just our right’, she said.
The illegal rally marched through the city with police escorts, members of the public joined the march resulting in a larger crowd ending back at Stirling Gardens.