Press Releases


Abbott says: Party members won’t have a free vote

We say: Liberals and Nationals who support equality should cross the floor for marriage equality.


After a 6 hour long meeting with the Liberals and National party members the outcome on whether members are allowed a conscience vote on the issue of marriage equality lost 66-33.

Abbott also said in a press conference post the meeting that if re-elected, the next Coalition government would put the issue to the people in a plebiscite or a conscience vote.

Ali Hogg Equal Love convener responds

“We know what the people think about this and we don’t need a plebiscite or a conscience vote. Poll after poll shows the majority of people support equality at 72% in favour”

“Abbott is trying to stifle the issue and it’s time we ramp up the pressure on Abbott and his supporters. People are rightfully angry about this decision to stifle equality and we need to express our anger on the streets. We call on all supporters of equality to come out this Saturday and let their voices be heard that we want equality now!”

Tens of thousands are expected to rally in Melbourne is on Saturday 15 August 1pm at the State Library.

Speakers include:

LGBTI Rights Activist and Author, Professor Dennis Altman,

Adam Bandt, Greens Member for Melbourne,

Mark Dreyfus, ALP Member for Isaacs,

Rowena Allen, Vic Gender & Sexuality Commissioner,

Luke Hilikari, Victorian Trades Hall Secretary

amongst others.

The rally will march to The Old Treasury Building for a mass wedding ceremony conducted by celebrant and The Australian Equality party's Senate candidate Jason Tuazon-McCheyne.




Saturday May 11 saw thousands of enthusiastic supporters of marriage equality come out on the streets demanding that the government change the marriage act so it no longer discriminates against many Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Equal Love  who organised the rally said they aim to try to make the issue of marriage equality one that both major parties can not ignore in the lead up to September’s election.

The rally started with an array of inspiring speeches including Paige Phoenix, a female to male transexual man who was told his marriage to his wife was invalid because he chose not to take up a potentially life threatening operation so he can have the letter M on his birth certificate.

Adam Bandt spoke about his equality bill that will be put to the vote in parliament on June 6, being our only chance of getting marriage equality through before the Federal election in September.

Most inspiring of all was Stephanie Meachan, a high school student from Albury, who not only spoke of her experience in facing discrimination as a young bisexual woman in the country but also expressed the negative messages it sends to young people that the government allows hetereosexual marriages but denies so many others!

The protest march stopped mid way, where hundreds of participants chalked on the road to make a giant DIY rainbow crossing in the intersection of Bourke and Swanston sts as a gesture of solidarity with those in Sydney who had an iconic rainbow-coloured crossing taken away earlier this year. The #DIY rainbow campaign has taken off and has become a worldwide phenomenon with people chalking up rainbows across Europe, the USA and Asia.

Equal Love convenor Ali Hogg:
“Today was an inspiring show of defiance and I think we need more rallies just like this if we want to get marriage equality put on the agenda as an election issue in September. It looks like wear heading for a Liberal government. Now is not the time to be cosying up to the Libs but we need to start preparing for a serious fight back and not just ask for our equal rights but demand they grant us full equality.”

Equal Love Announced their next rally marking the 9th anniversary since John Howard changed the marriage act to state that marriage shall be strictly ‘an institution between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others” The August rally is 4 weeks before the Federal election and is expected to  send a loud and passionate message to both major parties demanding equality.


Equal Love Melbourne convenor Ali Hogg:


“A referendum to extend full marriage rights to all couples regardless of gender is something every equal rights activist should fully get behind. It would be an exciting opportunity for the great majority of people in Australia to show their support for equality, and to demonstrate just how out of step the two major parties are with public opinion on this issue. Just as the 1967 referendum accorded civil rights and equality before the law to Aboriginal people, we are confident a referendum on equal rights for LGBTI people would result in a similar step forward for civil rights today.”


In response to the concerns of some in the marriage equality movement who have argued that a referendum would mobilise bigotry and that legislation is preferable, Hogg argues:


“We are not afraid of the homophobic scare campaign that anti-gay groups like the Australian Christian Lobby are sure to wage. That all people should be treated equally before the law, regardless of who they choose to love, is a democratic principle upheld by the majority of Australians, and no amount of Bible quoting and homophobic ranting can change that. We strongly believe that the message of equality and civil rights will win out in any public debate on marriage rights.”


“We have waited too long for the major parties to change the law. They have shown nothing but contempt for LGBTI people and the Australian public by refusing to end discrimination in line with public attitudes and wishes. A referendum represents our chance to compel them to do the right thing, and so we welcome it. Of course, it is not counter-posed to legislation change – that should continue to be something we fight for – but a referendum could well provide a direct route to equal rights, which would be fantastic.”


Equal Love will be holding a public rally for marriage equality at 1pm on Saturday 11 May outside the State Library.


France has just become the 14th country where marriage equality is legal. The other 13 countries are New Zealand (as of last week), Uraguay, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Iceland. The lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, voted 331 to 225 to adopt the bill, which allows gay marriage and adoptions by gay couples.


Equal Love convenor Ali Hogg:


 “Despite it being a controversial decision in France to allow marriage equality, I think it is a massive victory to be celebrated. The fact that the discriminatory law was changed is going to change the lives of many in France and bring hope to others fighting for equality around the world,.”

“We need to take encouragement from the 14 countries who now have marriage equality and continue to demand that our government take a stand and change the marriage act to no longer discriminate in Australia. Australia has to stop lagging behind on this issue and stop discriminating against LGBTI people and give us our much deserved equal rights!”


Equal Love will hold a rally on May 11 and plan to push the issue back on the agenda in the upcoming 2013 election and encourage all supporters of equality to join us on the streets to demand equal rights.


Equal Love believe we will not win marriage equality without a strong campaign and we encourage supporters of equality to bring their friends, family, school and workmates to attend the rally on May 11, because we need them to win. If we continue to take a stand, we send a message to the government that we are not going away until we have equal rights.

Thousands are expected to turn out to march against state-sanctioned homophobic discrimination this Saturday at 1pm at the State Library. The rally will be addressed by the first openly gay player in an Australian Rules football competition.

Equal Love convenor Ali Hogg:

“It is exciting to have public figures like Jason Ball prepared to take a stand against homophobia and discrimination. It was an inspiration to see a player in the code many of us love so much feel confident to both come out, and speak out, for LGBTI rights. It shows that despite Parliament voting to continue discriminating against same sex couples, LGBTI people are not cowered and will be continuing to fight homophobic laws, alongside the millions of straight allies who support us.”

Jason Ballcomments:

“The progress that we are making now in the fight against homophobia in sport and other areas of society has been made so much easier thanks to the continued visibility and presence of the gay marriage debate. That our nation’s leaders continue to stand in the way of progress towards equality under the law is only adding flames to the fire and bringing more and more people onto our side because the injustice is just so obvious.

The high levels of depression and suicide experienced by GLBTI youth as a result of homophobia and discrimination provides a true sense of urgency around this issue. Equality is not inevitable; we have to fight for it.”

The Melbourne rally will also feature an impressive line-up of guest speakers, including:

RODNEY CROOME, spokesperson for Australian Marriage Equality

KAT HENDERSON, National Union of Students National Queer officer and anti-Newman (QLD Premier) activist

ADAM BANDTand SUE PENNECUIK from the greens and ALP’s

JANE GARRET(ALP) will be reading a statement by Victorian opposition leader DANIEL ANDREWS.

And representatives from Headspace Queer/Straight Alliance and Equal Love convener ALI HOGG

PLUS: special guest performance by JAZ FLOWERS (Hairspray the Musical and The Voice)

Rally Details:  Saturday November 24, 1pm State Library






Equal Love expects thousands of people to rally in support of marriage equality on Saturday 24 November in Melbourne. Encouraged by the passing of marriage equality in four US states in the recent election (Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington), and disgusted by the Australian parliament's recent rejection of marriage equality laws, the November rally promises to be large and angry.

Convener of Equal Love Victoria, Ali Hogg:

“It’s about time Labor and the Liberals got with the times and make equal rights law. The majority of Australians support ending discrimination, yet LGBTI people continue to be denied our civil rights. If more and more US states can do it, why not Australia? We've just seen millions of people tune in to and celebrate the first gay proposal on national television- it's time we got to see the first official gay marriage!”

The Melbourne rally will feature a knock-out line up of guest speakers, including:

JASON BALL, VFL footballer and the first and only player to come out as gay,

RODNEY CROOME, spokesperson for Australian Marriage Equality and leading activist in the campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania,

KAT HENDERSON, National Union of Students National Queer officer, and anti-Campbell Newman (QLD Premier) activist

and many more, including representatives of the greens and state opposition ALP and Headspace and Equal Love’s Ali Hogg.

And, the day wouldn’t be complete without some entertainment.

There will also be a Lady gaga inspired flashmob and special guest performance by JAZ FLOWERS, famous for her role in playing Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray the Musical as well as The Voice.

Rally Details: November 24, 1pm State Library

The Flashmob will begin at 12.45, so be there early!



Thursday October 25

Equal Love calls on all supporters of marriage equality to keep up the fight for equal rights.

The next rally in Melbourne is on Saturday 24 November at 1pm at the State Library.

The cause of equal rights has never before enjoyed the level of support  it does today. Poll after poll confirms that the vast majority of Australians want to see equality enshrined in law. But the shameful act of the Australian parliament last September - voting down legislation for marriage equality - shows that we still have a battle on our hands.

Convener of Equal Love Victoria, Ali Hogg, says

“It’s more important than ever that we keep the pressure on the politicians as we head towards the next federal election. We need to keep the pressure up to show we aren’t going away until we win our equal rights!”

There are still two marriage equality bills making their way through parliament - we need to show it is the supporters of equal rights, not homophobic lunatics like Corey Bernadi, who are most determined to win.

Equal Love has put a call out and expects thousands to take a stand against the ban on marriage equality. It’s vital we are as vibrant and as loud as possible in order to make our voices heard.

Equal Love encourages all supportive friends, workmates and family to attend the rally. Without solidarity, we will not win.

There will be prizes for most creative placard and most original wedding costume, as well as a flashmob performance on the day.

There will also be speakers, celebrities, performers and much, much more.


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