The ninth anniversary of John Howard’s rewriting of the Marriage Act to exclude same sex couples was marked with a rally and march in Melbourne following the pattern of previous years and ending with a marriage ceremony outside the Registry Office for those couples who wished to formalise their relationship “in an act of defiance against discrimination and to send a message to the politicians in Canberra that LGBTI people are tired of waiting for their rights” (from an Equal Love media release). It happens that both the main contenders for the seat of Melbourne in the imminent federal election have long histories of supporting equal rights – Adam Bandt of the Greens and Cath Bowtell of the ALP, and both were among the speakers, along with Margarita Windisch, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Footscray, Luke Hilakari, Campaign/Industrial officer at Trades Hall. Wurundjeri Elder Annette Xiberras delivered a Welcome to Country as well as recalling some of her own experiences – see report of the 2012 rally on this site and the associated YouTube video. There was music from Jade Leonard with support form Dolly Diamond, and Ali Hogg and Anthony Wallace shared the role of MC.
As well as The Greens, the ALP, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, Socialist Party and small representations of a few unions (ANF, ASU. NUS and possibly others we may have missed) there was a bright and vocal band of Sex Party members at the rally and in the march, and the Facebook event page has a long discussion of the fact that organisers had evidently refused a platform for Fiona Patten, Party President and Victorian Senate candidate.
[Added Sunday 18th evening - front page photo in The Age today, article on page 5]
More photos, randomly distributed: