Thousands marched in Melbourne today to protest against 8 years of state-sanctioned discrimination. Over 3,000 people from across Victoria marched through the streets of Melbourne chanting “Gay, straight, Black or white, marriage is a civil right!”

Ali Hogg, Convener of Equal Love, said:

“Today was an awesome show of support for equal rights. We sent a loud and clear message to politicians that they should vote in support of marriage equality - even if it means they have to cross the floor of Parliament.”

On this date every year Equal Love has held mass rallies to protest the ban. The protest was followed by a mass illegal wedding ceremony in defiance of the government’s law. About 40 couples were able to have their relationship recognised publicly in front of thousands of supporters.

The ceremony was conducted by Father Greg Reynolds who recently gained notoriety after opening a church of dissident Catholics that welcomes ‘‘every man and his dog’’ – including gays and lesbians. Greg was proud to oversee the wedding of couples who lack the legal right to marry under Australian law.

The rally was addressed by the Member for Melbourne and Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt.

Other speakers included Ryan Hsu, the Victorian Assistant Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union; Doug Pollard, journalist and presenter on gay and lesbian radio station Joy 94.9fm; and Ali Hogg, Convener of Equal Love Melbourne.

Equal Love have announced a future rally to be held on 24 November 24. We call on all supporters of equality to continue to pressure all sides of politics to vote in favour of equality in the upcoming marriage amendment bills.

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