Rainbow colours were in abundance as Central Queensland residents turned out in force for today’s Marriage Equality rally in Rockhampton.
In opening proceedings, Committee of Equal Love member Rebecca Leeks told the crowd the rally was dedicated to all the people who have fought so hard to be who they are.
“To whoever have been bullied, harassed or too scared to come out,” she said.
Reflecting on Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to not allow Coalition MPs a free vote on marriage equality, she said: “He must win the worst brother in the world competition.”
Mr Abbott’s gay sister Christine Forster is engaged to her long-term partner Virginia Edwards and very much against her brother’s stance on same-sex marriage.
Keynote speaker Sara West, a Glenmore High School student who came out at age 13 and identifies as bisexual, encouraged younger people to be open with their sexuality and that “life is really filled with rainbows of happiness”.
“It’s okay to explore your gender identity, explore your sexuality,” she said. “It’s okay to be fluid, to change. Just be yourself.”
Other speakers were ALP candidate for the federal seat of Capricornia Leisa Neaton, State MP for Keppel Brittany Lauga, PFLAG Central Queensland president Christie Green-Williams and Gladstone Hot FM radio host Ben Norris.
The march from the bank of the Fitzroy River proceeded to Capricornia MP Michelle Landry’s office to “show her the love”.
A letter, signed by hundreds in support of marriage equality, was delivered under her door.
Marchers were in full voice, chanting several slogans along the way, including: “We don’t want to wait no more, LNP must cross the floor.”
Ms Landry (LNP) is against marriage equality.
To emphasise the message, a “kiss in” was held outside her office.
The march continued through the streets and across the old bridge, concluding on the city’s northside.