National Day of Action for equal love rights a huge success

This is a report on the Same Sex Marriage. I'll select photographs and create a slideshow of the event some time today.-DR

NDA .Just under four thousand people protested on the second anniversary of Australia's same-sex marriage ban. Seven cities and four locations in rural Australia were involved in the national protest, which addressed the marriage and recent 2006 same-sex civil union ban.

Melbourne's organiser John Kloprogge said "Over 1500 people took part in Melbourne's 'Equal Love' rally for relationship recognition. Same-sex couples, their families and their friends displayed their strength and solidarity in sending a clear message to State and Federal Governments: that equal love deserves equal rights. We will not back down until our relationships are accorded full equality under the law." Kloprogge is spokeperson for Equal Love, the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby's campaign for relationship Recognition.

Simon Margan, Community Action Against Homophobia from Sydney said "It was great that 1500 people attended the Sydney action. Howard and company are becoming international human rights pariahs. Queer pride is a matter of life and death. We have seen an increase in bashings and verbal abuse since the banning of same-sex marriage. We refuse to allow queer blood and dignity to run anymore. Today's protest is one more step in the mass movement campaign for our full rights." Margan concluded.

Ben Cooper from the Lismore team said "Lismore had 150 people turn up to fight homophobia. 15 couples were involved in a marriage ceremony. We had a great day!" Cooper concluded.

John Vidovich, from the Perth organising collective said "Perth's movement for pride rocks! Three hundred people attended -straight friends, supportive parents - this was a real show of strength and unity. Watch out Howard!" Vidovich concluded.

Mel Hughes, Adelaide organising team said "Our 150 action was fantastic. As yet we don't have defacto same-sex rights in South Australia. The Christian rights can get 20,000 people at their events in Adelaide. We are building an activist response to Howard and the Christian rights agenda. We will not be closeted!" Hughes finished.

In the ACT, 40 people showed their opposition to the ban on civil unions and marriage. Community Action Against Homophobia Blue Mountains held an action on Saturday 12th August
which attracted 40 people. Their spokesperson Bryn Hutchinson said that "We are very happy at the show of support from a broad cross section of the community- it really shows that prejudice is unacceptable to the majority of Australians when it comes to formulating legislation. Today we claimed our right as full citizens by marrying Blue Mountains couple, while at the same time achieving what is the essence of peaceful civil disobedience- doing what they say we can't" CAAH BM also led a sizeable contingent to Sydney's Sunday action.

Rodney Croome from the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group said "The giant, anniversary card signing in Hobart's Salamanca Market attracted a bigger than expected crowd and media contingent (and proved a wonderful way to catch up with long-lost friends and peers). Around 150 people signed our petition which will be given to John Howard next week."

The Brisbane event contained seven cars in a parade though out the cities. The cars had banners and signs calling for "equal relationship rights, pride flags, "we are family too, we have children too" said Sharon Dane, organiser of Queensland branch of Australian Marriage Equality. "We travelled for two hours through major city streets, with people taking lots of photos and giving us lots of support. We had a huge impact" concluded Dane. [Report:
Simon Margan ,2006 CAAH Co-Convenor, Macquarie University Law Student]