EQUALITY MESSAGE TAKES OFF AT CANBERRA AIRPORT


The “say yes to marriage equality” message is far from terminal.

Canberra airport has turned on a series of rainbow lights as Parliament resumes to consider a bill to legalise same-sex marriage.

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Australian Marriage Equality’s new national campaign slogan, #WeCanDoThis, is also on display with hopes the momentum in the community will lead to change within weeks.

Airport managing director Stephen Byron said the issue was “personal” as his brother Tom Snow married his husband in New Zealand last year.

The Snow family own and operate Canberra airport and join a list of Australian businesses throwing their weight behind same-sex marriage.

We hope that the rainbow image across the gateway to Australia’s national capital will have similar impact to lighting up the White House after the historic US Supreme Court ruling determining marriage equality in the US in June this year,” Mr Byron told Fairfax Media.

Mr Snow said it was “staggering” that he lived in a country where his husband and three children were “not afforded equal treatment”.

Now that we are married our marriage is not even recognised by our own Government,” he said.

When I made a commitment to my husband no-one else’s marriage was devalued, no-one was harmed and the sky did not fall in.”

Australian Marriage Equality activist Rodney Croome attended the launch of the airport’s light display yesterday and said the business community’s unusual decision to enter the political debate on a social issue demonstrated the overwhelming support for change within the community.

The support of businesses that aren’t normally involved in social issues shows the strength of feeling in the Australian community in support of marriage equality,” he said.

Corporate Australia knows marriage equality is not only the right thing to do but also popular with their staff and customers.”

On the flip side, thousands of flowers have been sent to Canberra today as part of a Christian Federation movement, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott expected to receive a bunch personally.

Organiser Peter Kentley told ABC radio the aim is to encourage those who want to keep marriage between a man and a woman to put their views in a civil way.

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage legislation will get 10 minutes of debate in parliament tonight.

Liberal backbencher Warren Entsch is expected to give notice of a cross-party bill that is unlikely to be debated for at least a week.