Australia: Marriage rallies across the country

Thousands are turning out in Australia to call for same-sex marriage, as its Federal Parliament prepares to debate the reform next week. In Brisbane, more than 5,000 people attended a rally at Queens Garden. Lisa Origliasso from band The Veronicas spoke, saying “I hate to say it by Australia is still sadly standing behind the rest... Now is the time for us to get loud. Now is the time for us to kick and scream for human rights. The right to be you. The right to me. To put it simply, we stand hand in hand with our loved ones today, unified to send a message to this great nation, that we are here to make this country better.

In Hobart, 1,500 people packed Hobart City Hall, with the crowd so large it flowed out onto the street. They heard from Tasmanian celebrities, leaders and advocates, including Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey. The audience also heard from Nick Outterside, who spoke about being raised by two mothers and the death of one before they were able to marry.

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman has also supported the Federal Government allowing federal MPs a free vote on the issue. "Ahead of the introduction of a cross-party bill this week, the rally sends a strong message to federal parliament that Tasmanians want marriage equality,” says Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome. Rallies were also held in Sydney and Perth. Melbourne and Adelaide rallies will happen next Saturday. Read More