JORDAN HIRST

Melbourne LGBTI activists are planning a mass same-sex wedding next month to protest Australia’s ban on marriage equality.

Equal Love Melbourne has invited same-sex couples to get married at the public ceremony, which will be held at the State Library of Victoria on August 26following a marriage equality march through the city.

It will mark 13 years since the Australian government amended the Marriage Act to specifically ban same-sex couples from marriage.

The group said Australia is one of the last Western countries to legislate for marriage equality and called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to stand up to the right-wing of his party on “this important issue of civil rights”.

“Couples who would like to make a public declaration of their commitment are welcome to take part in the mass illegal wedding, to be held at the conclusion of the march,” the group said.

“Equal Love will be issuing marriage certificates to all couples who decide to mark this occasion by becoming illegally wed.”

Last weekend, a gay couple of 30 years got unofficially married outside Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena to protest the Australian tennis player anti-gay comments.

“We believe that giving Margaret Court a platform for her hate speech is not acceptable given her status, so we’re sending her a message of love,” Van Houwelingen said.

Article first published in QNews