Rally and March for Marriage Equality – 17 May 2014

[Updated 19 May] For details of event see the Equal Love Facebook page and website. There are more photos (341!) by Michael Barnett at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152426635170149.1073741850.553710148&type=1

Naomi Farmer addressing the rally

NUS Queer Officer Naomi Farmer addressing the rally

Apart from the speakers – Adam Bandt of the Greens, Sally Goldner of Transgender Victoria, Adam Bottomley (Australian Services Union Delegate of the Year 2013), NUS Queer Officer Naomi Farmer and of course Ali Hogg, Equal Love convenor – the keynote of this rally was music. The Melbourne Gay & Lesbian Chorus, resplendent in formal (wedding?) wear, sang on the steps of the State Library during the warm up, and again with Rosco Elliott in a spectacular performance of ‘Equality’, his song written for the campaign. (See Karaoke version on YouTube here.) This performance was repeated at a halt on the march, at the intersection of Swanston and Bourke Streets, attracting attention from passers-by in away the rally itself may not have done.

As to the event as a whole, it would have to be admitted that numbers did not match those of some previous rallies – see for example reports on this site here and here, with accompanying links to YouTube videos – but at four to five hundred was still impressive. After ten years of campaigning a degree of fatigue would be understandable, but the timing may have contributed: the day was chosen to mark IDAHOBIT [International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Bi-phobia and Intersexism - formerly and elsewhere IDAHOT], whereas the rallies just referred to were linked to the anniversary of the amendment to the Marriage Act which banned same sex marriage. (There will be a rally to mark the tenth anniversary – Saturday 16 August, again at the State Library, see http://equallove.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69:10-year-anniversary-year-of-action.) Some also may have had to choose also between this and the Beat the Budget rally hastily called for the following day (see next post).

‘March in March’ – the Melbourne Rally and March, 16 March 2014

Melbourne responded to the callout (see http://marchinmarchaustralia.org/ and the Melbourne march Facebook page) with one of the largest rallies since the 2003 protests against the war in Iraq. Figures varied widely, as usual, but we are rather inclined to the upper end of the claims, or towards 50,000. It was also one of the most varied, and in recognition of this we are posting the largest selection of images so far on this site for one event. There is also a choice of thumbnail/gallery or slideshow, the latter comprising lower resolution copies. It may be in order to post a few separately:

Part of crowd at start of rally

A very small part of the rally at the State Library

Black and red flag

The holder of this flag told us it was 45 years old – dating back to moratorium days

Placard in German - 'These crimes, your blame'

International contribution

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Rally for Marriage Equality – 17 August 2013

Head of March in Bourke Street

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]

Ali Hogg

Ali Hogg

Annette Xiberras

Annette Xiberras

Ali Hogg  and Anthony Wallace, with Auslan interpreter

Ali Hogg and Anthony Wallace, with Auslan interpreter

Luke Hilakari

Luke Hilakari

Cath Bowtell

Cath Bowtell

Jade Leonard

Jade Leonard

Jade with Dolly Diamond

Jade with Dolly Diamond

Margarita Windisch

Margarita Windisch

Adam Bandt

Adam Bandt

Another view of the head of the march

Another view of the head of the march

Outside the old Treasury Building, housing the Registry Office

Outside the old Treasury Building, housing the Registry Office

The Minister who performed the marriage ceremony

The Minister who performed the marriage ceremony

Back of jacket covered with campaign patches

The person who held the portable PA

More photos, randomly distributed:

Anti-Gillard protests at Park Hyatt in Melbourne – 28 September 2011

Protesters at main entrance to hotel

Same-sex marriage and refugee activists were the main groups protesting outside the Park Hyatt hotel in Melbourne today when Prime Minister Julia Gillard was delivering a speech to a lunch of the AsiaLink and Asia Society. The main beneficiaries of the protest speeches and chants, however, were probably the large numbers of uniformed and undercover/plainclothes police on duty: however she entered the building it is certain she avoided a face-to-face meeting with the 200 or so protesters. (See report in Sydney Morning Herald. By avoiding the protest Ms Gillard deprived herself of a present some had been planning to give her for her 50th birthday on Thursday – see image below.)
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Protester hold up a placard with a red heart - a birthday present for Julia Gillard
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The protest assembled outside the main entrance and moved back and forth between there and the side entrances. At each stop there were speakers and chants, alternating between the two main issues. In addition to speakers from Equal Love and the Refugee Action Collective the protest heard from Carl Katter, half-brother of anti-gay Independent MP Bob Katter, and Malaysian refugee activist Angeline Loh, who surprised even experienced campaigners with the revelation that the ‘protections’, such as they would be, for asylum seekers transferred to Malaysia under the swap deal would only last until the asylum seekers were assessed by UNHCR to be refugees, at which point they would become illegal immigrants under Malaysian law, and subject to the same treatment refugees experience there…
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The weather took a hand not long after Julia Gillard’s presumed arrival, and the protest wound up at about 12.45.

Rally and March for Equal Marriage Rights – Melbourne, 13 August 2011

"Polly Filla", "Bumpa Love" drag acts with make dancer on stage

Drag queens provided a colourful finale to a rally that really shouldn’t have been necessary, a point made by more than one speaker – seven years since the re-writing on the Marriage Act to exclude same-sex couples, and seven years of rallying and campaigning for equality is seven years too long. Unlike the ‘dress rehearsal’ the previous Wednesday, when the attendance must have been a shade disappointing for the organisers, this time all available space at the State Library was filled, and the march and marriage celebration outside the Victorian Registry Office certainly no less impressive than the last – though there was no sign of the red-haired Julia Gillard puppet from last August, which was a shame….
The accompanying videos should speak for themselves as to what was said and done, with just a few photos here for good measure.

From the Facebook page for the event:

Rally for Equal Marriage rights! No to homophobia! No to Discrimination!

All LGBTI & Straight people who support marriage equality are invited to come to Australia’s largest illegal wedding ceremony and protest march.

On the seventh anniversary of the marriage act being re-written, we at Equal Love and the majority of Australians demand equal rights now!

7 years of marriage inequality is 7 years too long! Come and tell the ALP to change the marriage act now!

In the lead up to the ALP national conference later this year it’s vital that ALL LGBTI and supporters of this campaign come out in our thousands at this rally and illegal wedding!

Prizes on offer for best placard, so get your creative juices flowing and bring out the Texta. Certificates will be given to those couple wanting to take part in the ceremony to take place on the steps of the Marriage Registry. Get our those wedding garments and join us at the countries biggest rally for Marriage Equality hosted by Tracy Bartram in Melbourne on Sat 13 August.

Tracy Bartram at the microphone

Tracy Bartram was an 'outspoken' MC...

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Annette Xiberras

Wurundjeri elder Annette Xiberras gave a "Welcome to Country"


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Some placards in the crowd:
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Placard - If Jesus had 2 dads, then why can't I?

Placard - Always the Best Man, never the f......g  bride
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ASU Branch Secretary Ingrid Stitt

ASU Branch Secretary Ingrid Stitt

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Nathan Valvo

Nathan Valvo


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Placard - They can marry in New York (Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street)

Another placard in the crowd


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Jade Eckhaus, NUS Queer Officer

Jade Eckhaus, NUS Queer Officer


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Videos:
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The rally –
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The march –
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The marriage –

See also Equal Love Victoria.

Equal Love ‘Wedding Rehearsal’ in Bourke Street Mall – Melbourne, 10 August 2011

Leading up to the rally planned for Saturday 13 August marking the 7th anniversary of the re-writing of the Marriage Act to exclude same-sex couples, Equal Love held a mid-week ‘Wedding Rehearsal’ in the Bourke Street Mall today, Wednesday:

'Bride' and 'groom' pose with 'clergyman' and page-boy and bridesmaid in Mall

It was a very small affair but attracted a lot of attention, no doubt helped by the presence of a suitably dressed ‘bride’ and very young attendants, who also took a turn with the leafletting:

Child offers leaflet to passer-by
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Schoolgirls gather around the pageboy and bridesmaid

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Man in military uniform ignores children with leaflets

No luck with this one ....

Whether rain kept possible participants away is hard to say, but preparations for the main rally are certainly not being helped by the unexplained disappearance of the Equal Love website – there remains, however, a Facebook event page.

Equal Love convenor Ali Hogg addressed passers-by:
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Ali Hogg with megaphone
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as did the representative of the clergy:
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Man dressed as priest speaks from behind Equal Love banner
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There was then a sort of wedding procession through the Mall, heading ultimately for Parliament House:

Moving with placards through the shoppers
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Moving past David Jones store
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Outside Sportsgirl store
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The 'bride' poses outside jewellers store
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Placard advertising the rally on the 13th of August at the State Library

Ali has given a recent interview to Melbourne Community Voice .

MC at the upcoming rally will be Tracy Bartram, and an interview with her can be read here.

The rally has been advertised on Melbourne Indymedia’s Event Calendar.

Rally and March for Same-Sex Marriage Rights – 26 March 2011

The lawns in front of the State Library were fully occupied for the latest in the series of rallies organised by Equal Love in support of their campaign against the discriminatory provisions of the Marriage Act. Introductory music was provided by Sophie O’Connor and John Doxey, with Dolly Diamond and Luke Gallagher hosting. Speakers ranged from Karen Field, CEO of the Drummond Street Relationship Centre and Sally Goldner of TransGender Victoria, Jade Eckhaus, Queer Officer of the NUS and James Campbell of minus18, to comedian Joel Creasey and union activist Daria Healy-Aarons, with Ali Hogg, Convenor of Equal Love, delivering the final call to action. There was the now-traditional competition for the best home-made placard, won this time by one reading “23 years living in sin” … Showers threatened but held off, and there was a spirited march to the Old Treasury Building, where the PA system failed to deliver but the message was loud and clear – the fight goes on…

No photos this time, but video extracts from the rally and march. (There are pics galore here.)