Went to the Same Sex Marriage rally at Sydney Town Hall. One of the speakers, Katrina, said she’d been warned that the Salt Shakers were there – who hate gay marriage – and they were taking photos to allegedly try and misrepresent the crowd as being smaller than it was. [You can see from the photos on their website that every family is heteronormative. There’s always someone out of the norm, though, that’s life. They must straitjacket all of their family members and friends, trying to squeeze and mask the quirks so they can fit a “normal” definition. I agree with their Cronulla riots analysis, though.]
Just ignore their propaganda, as there was a great turn-up, despite it being stilfing hot. A few speakers, then we marched off to Bathurst St and back in a big square to Town Hall. The police closed off the main street of Sydney, George St, for the march, and the traffic was held up but most motorists were tooting their horns in support, rather than getting stroppy. It was a great atmosphere.
One speaker said intersex people – who are born without a clear genital indication of their sex – get their genitals operated on so they can “fit the heteronormative dichotomy of penetrating or being penetrated”. This should be deferred until the child is older and can choose or stay as an intersex person.
“Compliance with the current ways means we don’t get hassled – but we also don’t get equal rights. We have to stand up and fight to get anything.”
Another speaker, Traci, said she counts as a man on her birth certificate in Britain, a woman on her British passport, and a woman on her passport in Australia. “What sex am I? It depends on where the plane lands.”
Crave MCC Reverend Karl then asked same-sex couples to come forward if they wanted to take part in an illegal marriage ceremony. Some were overjoyed to make a spontaneous decision to get married – they were given red roses and Rev Karl said some serious words and then they all kissed and threw the roses. Whoever caught them would be the next to find love. Photos were taken, and they each got a certificate. Then Wagner’s Bridal Chorus was loudly played.
A bonus was that the police made the everyday shoppers walk through the protest (as they’d been walking on the road with the traffic!) so they were aware of what the cause was.
These rallies are held regularly to roughly the same format – they have to keep holding them every few months to raise the profile and keep the issue on the agenda. The next Federal Election wil be held next year and Australia is very backward on this issue because our poiticians are held to ransom by small groups of anxious, conversative voters in lots of marginal seats (see David Marr’s book, The High Price of Heaven). Most Australians are progressive. The politcians constantly poll, so as soon as it’s safe to do so, they won’t hestitate to change the rules. We have to keep the pressure on and educating this minority of conservative and anxious Australians in marginal electorates that society won’t fall apart if there is same-sex marriage.