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Choose Love Vote Yes

In response to the Liberal Governments decision to hold a national postal survey on marriage equality, over 40,000 people rallied in Sydney on Sept 10 in support on equal rights for the LGBTIQ+ community. Jenny Leong MP addressed the rally on behalf of The Greens.

"Thank you all for coming out! I’d first like to acknowledge that we are here on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and pay our respects to their elders and thank Tim for that incredible acknowledgment of country. This always will be and always was Aboriginal land.

My name is Jenny Leong and I am here today to speak on behalf of The Greens. There are Greens MP’s scattered throughout the crowd, and I can say that as Greens MP’s we support marriage equality every vote, every MP, every time.

Can I say to Tony Abbott, to John Howard, to Eric Abetz – can you feel the love? Can you feel the love? Let’s all blow them a kiss! Let’s blow Tony Abbott and John Howard a kiss and ensure that they can feel the love today here in Sydney.

We should not be here. It is absolutely disappointing that we are here. I’m so sorry that we are here. It is unacceptable to me, to all of you and to The Greens that we are expecting people to put their equal treatment under the law to a public opinion poll. I have seen people in our community, leaders of the LGBTIQ+ community in tears because of the fear and the hurt and the pain that they are feeling as a result of having to have their personal love, their personal relationships out there for the public to debate.

And let’s not kid ourselves. The LGBTIQ+ community is used to steeling itself against homophobia, against transphobia and against queerphobia. You are resilient and you are strong. But what is so hurtful about what we are seeing from this Liberal Government and their support of this postal plebiscite, is that the people who have those homophobic views, those transphobic views, those queerphobic views are now being given a legitimate piece of paper to express them publically. That is something that we must reject!

We didn’t want to be here, but we are here. And that means that we must do all that we can to get out the most massive Yes vote that you have ever seen. Imagine for a minute – imagine what it will be like the day you wake up when the postal votes have been counted. Imagine you read the headline and it says “Enormous, Overwhelming Support for the Yes Vote”. Imagine how you will feel when “The Government Will Not Be Able to Ignore Yes Vote” is the headline that we see before us. Imagine how you will feel when you know that you have done all that you can, despite the challenges, despite the haters to campaign for the most amazing, overwhelming Yes vote. It will feel good because love will win. That is what we are working towards.

I want to remind you of a small piece of history. It is only because of organisations and groups like Community Action Against Homophobia and the public support we are seeing here today, that we have political parties on all sides coming out in support of marriage equality. Back in 2004, 13 years ago when John Howard introduced these amendments it was a shameful moment for the Liberal Party, but at that time Labor did not oppose those amendments. It is because of you that we see Bill Shorten here today, and I welcome him joining the community and coming out in support of marriage equality. The Greens will stand with you until love wins! Thank you very much."


Republished with permission. This speech was originally published here. Image: supplied.

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