Great title for a post, eh? All over the country today there were marches and rallies in support of Same Sex Marriage. I had to pop in to work for a while and so was unable to attend the start of the rally and march at Taylor Square, so I figured I’d go straight to Hyde Park. A fine day in Sydney, I’d estimate the participating crowd at about 1,500 people (maybe 2,000).
Amongst those who spoke was community activist, Norrie-May Wellby, a representative of the Ethnic Communities Council, a representative of the National Union of Students, someone from the Metropolitan Commuity Church and the two blokes who married on 2 Day-FM last year.
Reflecting on those who spoke, I thought it was interesting there was no official representation from “peak” bodies including the Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby and Mardi Gras. Such a lack of representation could, of course, be interpreted in many ways. On the one hand, you could consider this a grass roots protest that needed no “officialdom”.
On the other, you could consider this a protest on the fringes of the community, located within the broader context of left-wing politics in Australia. I note, for example, some of the assumptions made by speakers about a dislike of the Howard Government were not reflected in the response of the audience. Although it was assumed those attending would join in boo-ing John Howard, I’d believe (by the crowd response) a fair number of those attending were probably conservative voters.
The issue of “Same Sex Marriage” is a complex, difficult one, and one which has the potential to divide the GLBTI community, as some strongly support marriage, while others consider it a familial type that shouldn’t necessarilly be adopted. Whether it’s called marriage or not, I think members of the GLBTI community (and the broader Australian community) would be happy for some form of equal legal representation.
To cross the divide, a persuasive argument about whether or not you personally support “marriage” isn’t all that important, this is about your support for those who do.