A sea of rainbow shut down streets on Saturday as thousands of marriage equality supporters marched through Brisbane to protest the proposed plebiscite.
More than 2000 people gathered in Queen’s Park to call for a change to Australia’s marriage laws. Several other cities around the nation also held rallies at the same time.
Speakers at the event criticised the non-binding plebiscite. The Coalition has promised to conduct the plebiscite at an estimated cost of $160 million following their predicted win at Saturday’s election.
However, speakers said a plebiscite will allow a ‘campaign of hate’ against the LGBTIQ community.
Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters said it could result “in a publicly funded hate campaign of divisiveness, disunity, prejudice and bigotry”.
“Australians don’t want that, they want their parliament to get on with the job of making laws,” she said.
“The Prime Minister should stand up to his backbench and dump this plebiscite idea. It is a waste of $160 million and it will cause division and hatred and bigotry and disunity in the community.”
Sea of rainbow
At yesterday’s marriage equality & safe schools rally in Brisbane. Felt good to be surrounded by so much positivity! pic.twitter.com/Imeco8r8z5
— B (@Doppelganger_13) June 25, 2016
— Shianne Watts (@wattshianne) June 26, 2016
Earlier, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that he would not bind Coalition members to the result of the plebiscite. Rather, he would allow a conscience vote on the issue.
He also dismissed concerns of a damaging “no” campaign, telling the ABC he was confident “there will be a respectful, no doubt robust debate about the issue.”
Fairfax Media revealed a push underway within the Coalition party room to allow conservative MPs and Senators to vote against marriage equality reforms if their individual electorate voted in a majority no, even if the majority of the nation voted yes.
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