Get Up reports that ...this weekend, a group of conservative pastors will ask congregations across Australia to sign a petition against equality.
They already claim some 34,000 signatures, and they're planning to deliver the petition at the ALP National Conference in a few weeks, when the party's policy on marriage equality will be decided.
The good news is that we may be able to deliver our petition to the Prime Minister in person any day now. Earlier this year GetUp members chipped in donations and won a charity auction to have dinner with Julia Gillard. Three inspirational same-sex couples are lined up to dine with the PM, and we’re expecting the big day to be in the next few weeks.
Share the petition with your friends here
So long as we have inequality enshrined in law, the hatred and bigotry of homophobia will continue and so too will campaigns like the one we're seeing the rolled out across churches this weekend.
It's a campaign that's being driven by two men most Australians have never heard of, pulling the strings without the support of those they claim to represent.
Joe de Bruyn is the National Secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), a powerful union representing retail shop assistants, bakers, cleaners, photographers and hairdressers. He's the man who ultimately gets to decide who gets preselected to run for office from the Labor Party's right faction in NSW. This power puts enormous pressure on Labor delegates to toe his line. Just this week, Mr De Bruyn said: "I will exercise every ounce of influence I have to keep the existing platform, which says marriage is between a man and a woman."
The other is Jim Wallace, the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. Over the past few months he has variously said, tweeted or endorsed statements such as, "the Anzacs didn’t die for gay marriage" and has brought speakers into Parliament House to make remarks such as, "gay marriage will lead to pedophiles marrying children".
These men don't represent the majority view of their faith, their Party or the Australian people. Stand up and show them they're against the tide of change.
When delegates take to the conference floor, we need to equip them with the support they need to say Australians demand equality. Your name is already there, can you encourage friends to do the same?
We've been pointing to the Labor Party’s National Conference – just three weeks away now – as a watershed moment in the fight for marriage equality. We know that the momentum we've built may bring a positive change to the Labor Party's stance on same-sex marriage, and Australia one step closer to full equality under the law.
It's not beyond us. Advocates within the Labor Party have recently ramped up their calls for change and we need to help them. Minister Mark Butler said it well in an op-ed this week: "Australia should recognise that marriage is now predominantly a civil institution and apply standard principles of equal treatment at least to civil ceremonies."4
It is important for our allies on this issue, like Minister Butler, that we give them strong evidence of the public support for the ALP having binding position on this.
For all your effort thus far, thank you. Together we've done much and it feels we’re closer than ever to finding the equality Australia deserves.
for the GetUp team.
Sign and share the marriage equality petition here
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