Message from the Board: We stand together to achieve Marriage Equality

Mardi Gras Parade 2017, photo by Ann-Marie Calilhanna

Mardi Gras Parade 2017, photo by Ann-Marie Calilhanna

Message from the Board: We stand together to achieve Marriage Equality

To the Australian LGBTIQ community and its allies,

The Board and staff of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras would like to express our extreme disappointment over the Turnbull government’s decision to move forward with a postal plebiscite on Marriage Equality.

It is the position of the organisation and the Board that a free vote in parliament would be the fastest and safest way to pass Marriage Equality legislation and that a plebiscite is unnecessary, expensive and dangerous. That position has not changed.

However, as the reality of a postal plebiscite draws nearer and our community gets prepared for a national vote, we want to reassure our members, our community and our allies that we are ready to do everything we can to ensure our community is protected, that the YES vote is successful and that Marriage Equality is made a reality before our 40th anniversary next year.

At this very moment there is a High Court challenge led by a number of our community leaders to try and shut down the postal plebiscite. We support this legal challenge and hope it is successful, but until then we will not be complacent.

There are two things you can do right now to help ensure the plebiscite is successful:

Firstly, make sure you are properly enrolled to vote in the Australian Electoral Commission and do the same for your friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, that guy/gal you met in the bar that one time and your friendly neighbourhood drag queen. To do this, please visit aec.gov.au or check your enrolment at check.aec.gov.au.

Secondly, speak to your friends, keep them close and make sure they’re okay. a public debate on our lives, rights and families can be very stressful. If at any time you feel vulnerable, distressed or angry, know that there is a whole community that has your back.

If you need support, please contact Qlife on 1800 184 527 or ACON on 1800 063 060. Rainbow Families have also released a guide to staying healthy during a plebiscite. You can download and read their guide here.

A postal plebiscite on Marriage Equality is not what we wanted for our community, but we will do all we can to achieve a resounding Yes! vote to send our politicians a message they cannot ignore and push them to legislate Marriage Equality.

In solidarity,

The Board and staff of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.