Protesters to rally against marriage equality

Rallies will be held for and against marriage equality in the lead-up to the federal election.
Rallies will be held for and against marriage equality in the lead-up to the federal election.

Protests have been planned across the country in the wake of the Prime Minister’s commitment to address marriage equality if re-elected.

In an email to supporters, Kevin Rudd reinforced his comments made during the leaders debate on Sunday, stating he would “support marriage equality legislation in the first 100 days of Parliament” if re-elected.

“I've been thinking about the meaning of marriage for a long time - and I won't hide the fact that this has been a journey for me,” he said.

“It is a difficult discussion, and I won't force this on anyone.”

The announcement was not welcomed by all voters, including a number of protesters who gathered outside the Prime Minister’s office in Brisbane.

The rally came ahead of National Marriage Day on Tuesday, when hundreds of voters opposed to same-sex marriage are expected to gather across the country.

National Marriage Day spokeswoman Mary-Louise Fowler told Fairfax Media that major events would be held in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, in addition to smaller rallies in regional centres such as Wagga.

Ms Fowler said many voters were not happy about the renewed attention to sex-same marriage legislation.

“Children need a mother and a father,” she said.

“To define marriage as anything other than a union between a man and a woman is an attempt to remove this fundamental biological link between children and their parents.”

Equal Love campaigners are also preparing for their own events, starting with the Rally for Marriage Equality in Melbourne on Saturday.

The event, to be held at the State Library of Victoria, comes just four days after their opponents vacate the venue.

A Labor campaign rally organised for Civic Square in Canberra for Tuesday this week will now double as a pro-marriage equality event, with Andrew Barr, Kate Lundy, Andrew Leigh, and Gai Brodtmann all expected to address speak, according to Labor-affiliated group It's Time.

Canberra-based Equal Love spokeswoman Ivette Madrid said members would be hosting an additional rally in the capital on August 31, which local political hopefuls such as Greens Senate candidate Simon Sheikh had been invited to.

“It’s good we’re seeing a softening of the approach of both [major] parties to marriage equality,” she said,

“But we just want a commitment.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also addressed the issue of marriage equality during the leaders’ debate, describing it as “important” but not the top priority for the Coalition.

This story Protesters to rally against marriage equality first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.