Hundreds rally in Sydney for same-sex marriage
Hundreds of people have rallied in Sydney, Australia for same-sex marriage equality.
An estimated 600 people attended the equality rally on Sunday that came as the Liberal party prepared for an emergency meeting on the matter.
However, this has been heavily criticised as it would be costly and neither method is legally binding.
Protesters chanted “gay, straight, black or white, marriage is a civil right” and “What do we want? Marriage equality! When do we want it? Now!”.
They carried signs which read “love is about hearts, not parts” and “we didn’t vote on your marriage”.
Sally Rugg, an LGBT activist and campaign director for GetUp, a marriage equality campaign, told the crowd that they “could not rest” until marriage equality is achieved.
She explained that the rally was taking place “13 years after John Howard changed the Marriage Act to specifically exclude us”.
Ralliers were calling for a free vote to be held in Parliament.
Currently, ultra-Conservative politicians are pushing for a plebiscite or postal vote to be held in order to determine whether equal marriage should be legalised in the country.
Conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged to hold the public plebiscite after narrowly winning the election last July.
The country announced that it had set aside $170 million for a plebiscite earlier this year.
Polls have shown favourability for marriage equality in the country for a long time, with most MPs and Senators also backing public opinion.
LGBT activists and opposition parties are also not supportive of the plebiscite over fears that the funding allocation is an unnecessary “fiscal risk”.
Turnbull has blocked parliamentary votes on the issue and is turning to the please ultra-conservative MPs in his party.
A report by ANZ Bank recently found that Australia was losing $550 million in same-sex marriage revenue to its neighbouring country, New Zealand.
As well as income generated by weddings, the bank said that Australia was losing out on edition services such as honeymoons and divorce lawyers.
A report by the UN human rights committee found that Australia was breaching human rights obligations by not permitting divorces between same-sex couples.