Ipswich turned up in force over the weekend when large crowds filled Studio 188 to rally in support of marriage equality.
The colourful event attracted not just large numbers of passionate locals, but also brought together a strong contingent of local, state and federal politicians and leading marriage equality activists.
Pat Walsh, the Greens Party candidate for the Federal seat of Blair, chaired the event and introduced a series of thought provoking and sometimes very personal speeches.
Senators Glen Lazarus and Larissa Waters both addressed the crowd, emphasising the importance of contacting their elected representatives to ensure that they know how the community really feels about continued discrimination.
Senator Waters was also highly critical of the Government’s proposed plebiscite.
“The proposed plebiscite on the subject of marriage equality is just a delaying mechanism, the federal government knows full well that the community supports marriage equality,” Senator waters said.
Ivan Hinton, deputy director of Australian Marriage Equality said the Australian Parliament is just seven votes away from approving changes to the Marriage Act.
“The support in the community is huge, but we must persevere to achieve the final goal,” Hinton said, adding that supporters of Marriage Equality can help spreading the word locally by having conversations with friends and family.
Three Ipswich councilors, Victor Attwood, Andrew Antoniolli and Paul Tully, spoke also strongly in support of marriage equality. A challenge was put to the Ipswich council to pass a motion supporting changes to the Marriage Act.
One lone protester was not successful in marring the event, and was quickly removed from the venue as the crowd chanted “out, out, out!”