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National Day of Action

On August 13, 2004 the Federal Government passed the Marriage Amendment Act. This amendment saw marriage defined henceforth as a union between ‘a man and a woman’ – effectively banning same-sex marriage as well as creating complicated legal barriers for many trans* people and their relationships.

This year, activist groups around the country will mark the passing of the Amendment with a series of protests and rallies as part of a National Day of Action Against Homophobia on August 12. The key demands of the protest will be ‘Repeal the Same-Sex Marriage Ban’, ‘Give Us Civil Unions’ and ‘Hands off Same-Sex Adoption’

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Here in WA a protest rally is scheduled to be held on the steps of State Parliament on August 14. The rally is being organized by the new West Australian grassroots activist organization Queer aGender. CoConvenor and Queer Officer with both Curtin University and the National Union of Students, Kitty Hawkins, states that the rally will be for the dual purpose of protesting the ban on same-sex marriage and raising visibility of GLBT issues. ‘Given the coverage in mainstream media, it’s likely that much of the homophobia that exists is not malicious, but based on misinformation,’ she stated. ‘This event will help to educate the broader community.’

A variety of speakers have been lined up for the event, including grass roots activists and organizational representatives, a past-president of PFLAG, and state parliamentarians Louise Pratt MLC and Giz Watson MLC.

Hawkins’ is hoping to get a large turn-out and emphasises that the rally will not be all about ‘angry activists’. Organizers were hoping to create a ‘fun’ atmosphere that would draw attention from media and thus to the issues. She encouraged those considering attending to dress up in formal wedding attire or crazy outfits and said that organizers were seeking to attract the attention and participation of as broad a cross section of both the GLBT and mainstream community as possible.

The rally kicks off at noon Tuesday August 14 at Parliament House in West Perth.

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