Australia’s national election is July 2nd and thousands rallied across the country today to call for the immediate introduction of same-sex marriage legislation. Reuters reports:
Conservative Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull supports same-sex marriage and has pledged a public vote on the issue before the end of 2016. The Labor opposition will skip a public vote and introduce a bill to parliament within 100 days if it wins the election.
Opinion polls say Turnbull’s conservative coalition and Labor are neck-and-neck ahead of the election. Protesters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth marched carrying rainbow flags and signs which read “Equality now”.
Some dressed up in costumes of former primer minister Tony Abbott, an opponent of same-sex marriage, who Turnbull ousted in a party room coup last September.
Openly-gay Labor candidate Pat O’Neill, who marched in Brisbane, said the election will give the gay community a “voice at the ballot box”, reported Australian Associated Press (AAP).
Greens Senator Larissa Waters told the crowd a public vote was a waste of time. “It’s not going to be binding on their (government) members – what a joke,” said Waters, reported AAP.
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) June 25, 2016
We stumbled upon a marriage equality march in the middle of Brisbane. There were so many people! 🌈❤️💛💚💙💜 pic.twitter.com/vxE5IK6Zwo
— Jesse Irwin (@ACatAteMyTweets) June 25, 2016