Queensland man encourages everyone in his suburb to vote YES

Dedicated marriage equality activist Dylan Carmichael has not wasted any time getting people in his suburb to participate in the upcoming postal survey.

Carmichael researched how many residences were in his Brisbane suburb of Geebung via the census data and discovered that there were 1829 homes.

He printed up 2000 flyers encouraging people to check to see if they’re registered with the Australian Electoral Commission and asked them to support marriage equality.

Over the weekend, Carmichael spent 14 hours delivering the flyers to every one of his neighbours. A task that saw him walk 65,000 steps and cover 50kms. So far he’s distributed 1850 leaflets.

Speaking to OUTinPerth Carmichael said while he disagreed with the government’s methodology of a postal survey to decide the issue of marriage equality, he was eager to ensure that the outcome was a positive one.

“We’ve said for years that the plebiscite would be terrible for LGBTIQ people’s mental health.  If we’re going to be forced to this public debate, then we have to make it worth the cost, which means we have to win.

“In my suburb there are a lot of families with young adults just turning 18, who we know are our biggest supporters and the least likely to be enrolled.”

Carmichael said he felt it was important to engage people in his local community and encourage them to think about how they’ll fill out the survey.

“More people are on our side than not – we know this, but lots of them aren’t strongly motivated. It’s important to help enthuse and get them primed to vote Yes!”

While making his journey from letter box to letterbox Carmichael also got the chance to meet and talk with many people.

“I met lots of people. It was a lovely sunny weekend and lots of folks were out doing front gardens and things.

“Anyone I saw I had a chat with and the overwhelming response was along the lines of ‘Of course I’ll vote yes, it’s ridiculous that this is still an issue, and even more ridiculous that they’re going to spend that much money on this vote.’

Carmichael’s not a new face to the campaign for marriage equality, he’s a long standing advocate for change.

“I’ve been campaigning on this for around 10 years. I have so many reasons. I want to go to any state in Australia and know that my rights, protections, and presumptions will be the same wherever I go and whatever I do.

“I want a nation where my relationship with my partner is seen as the same as any heterosexual relationship, both culturally and legally. I’d like for my friends whose overseas marriages have failed to be able to get divorced. And personally, my fiance and I have been engaged for 2 years and we’d really like to set a date.”

Graeme Watson 

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