Thousands marched in Melbourne today to protest against 8 years of state-sanctioned discrimination. Over 3,000 people from across Victoria mar....

Michael Ross sings 'Equal Love' at Melbourne Marriage Equality Rally

Equal Love by Jade Leonard. Don't miss her performance at Melbourne rally August 17.

Melbourne Rally for Marriage Equality [2012 May 12] By TSCHITCHAT


By Erin Steele

In March 2012 I sat in on a marriage equality forum in Melbourne held by Equal Love, one of the groups leading the campaign for equal rights. I was nervous as hell and didn’t really know much about marriage equality beyond the fact that we didn’t have it.

I joined Equal Love that night and haven’t looked back for one minute. My reasons for joining were numerous, some more noble than others.

Having recently returned from the UK, where I had come out of the closet, had my political interest piqued, and been following the infuriating yet heartbreaking spectacle of two of my closest male friends (one American, one British with dual Australian citizenship) jumping through every available hoop to marry and live in the US.

After 18 exhaustive months of sworn statements, extensive documentation of the relationship and visits to immigration, my friend’s US visa was not granted.

Despite needing to live in the US due to familial responsibilities, they were forced to settle for a civil union in the UK, which would allow them to live and work as a de facto couple. They spent every spare penny they had on travelling to Australia and then the US to visit their respective families. 

Returning home, I couldn’t get on the internet fast enough. “I’m gay!” I thought. “This affects me! And people I know! And it’s bullshit!”

I searched for the term “marriage equality Australia” and clicked on the first website I could find (well, the first that didn’t require a special set of prerequisites to join), “Equal Love”.  I had never heard of the group, or of Ali Hogg (the group’s convener and leader), who I’ve come to know as one of the warmest, fiercest, bravest and hardest working activists I could have hoped to meet. 

Admittedly I joined Equal Love knowing little to nothing about politics, queer culture or whether this would ever really be relevant to my life or interests. Frankly, it was just an issue I felt strongly about, but I also just wanted to meet some other like-minded queers and protest against a system I don’t agree with on the whole. It definitely wasn’t personal.

Two years on, however, I feel a little differently. Six Melbourne rallies, three regional rallies (at one of which I spoke on behalf of EL), dozens of events, fundraisers, meetings, working bees, posters, flyers, social media campaigns and three different T-shirt designs – this has become more than a little personal. 

Be it Liberal or Labor, there has been a revolving door of politicians who have overseen ten years of legislated discrimination, some with vehement opposition and gross bigotry, some with an apologetic shrug at the withholding of our civil rights.

This is my problem. Not because I’m queer. Not because I’m a leftie. Not even because I particularly want to get married. But because I’m a human being and civil rights belong to everyone. It is the principle of the thing.

I now understand and can speak fairly authoritatively on legislated discrimination, the anti-gay lobby, the Marriage Act and how it operates within the Constitution, what is required in parliament to achieve our objective and the larger agenda at work in continuing this legislated bigotry.

This year marks 10 years of action for marriage equality. Yes, I am disgusted. And yes, it is personal. I’ll be at the next rally to keep up this fight. Will you join me?

Article first published in Red Flag.

Equal Love's next March for Marriage Equality in Melbourne is on May 17 1pm, State Library of Victoria. Click attending on facebook.

Equal Love will be proudly marching in Pride March 2014 to highlight that ten years have passed since the Howard government amended the Marriage Act to outlaw marriages between LGBTI people in Australia.

Our message to the current LIberal government will be: Ten years of homophobic discrimination is ten years too many! 

Benjamin 2012 Big Brother Winner (Benjamin Norris), his fiancé Ben Williams, Nathan Big Brother 2013 (Nathan Little). Tahan Lew and Sharon from the 2013 BB house will be proudly marching with Equal Love to champion the cause for Marriage Equality and we invite you to join us to say 10 years of marriage discrimination is 10 years too long!

Equal Love will be marchin in position 88 so look out for us on the day.

The day is predicted to reach 41 degrees so please bring plenty of drinks to stay hydrated and Equal Love will provide sunscreen on the day for our contingent.

Equal Love marriage equality contingent on the annual Pride March 
Meeting from 12 noon, Sun 2 February, Cnr Lakeside Drive and Fitzroy sts, St Kilda





Press Release 12/12/13


Equal Love groups and Community Action Against Homophobia have promised to fight on across the country to push Abbott back and win equal marriage rights, despite the High Court today striking down same-sex marriage in the ACT.

On behalf of CAAH and Equal Love Cat Rose said, "It's extremely disappointing. The ACT gave us a small taste of what we wanted to see. Just disgraceful that the federal government is so petty and homophobic that they would interfere and annul the same sex marriages that took place.

Rose continued, "But we were going to have keep fighting for equal rights whatever happened, and that's just what we are going to do now. August 13 next year will mark 10 years since the Howard government passed the Marriage Amendment Act saying that marriage was to be between one man and one woman only. Equal Love and CAAH will be working around the country to protest this occasion - we're going to fight Abbott all the way, and are looking forward to seeing many others do the same."

Equal Love in Melbourne have already announced a year of action for marriage equality, with a protest on Saturday August 16 at 1pm, State Library to mark the ten year anniversary of the ban on LGBTI marriage.

Contact Cat Rose, Co-convener of Community Action Against Homophobia in Sydney 0405 770 302

Ali Hogg, Convener of Equal Love in Melbourne 0403 019 430




This Saturday, 23 November, Equal Love Melbourne will be hosting the city’s first marriage equality rally since Tony Abbott became prime minister.

Thousands are expected to take to the streets to oppose both Abbott’s refusal to amend the discriminatory Marriage Act and the high court challenge against the ACT’s new same-sex marriage laws.

Speakers will include:

Greens senator Sarah Hanson Young, who has tabled bills for marriage equality and is an outspoken supporter of equal rights;

Ron Van Houwelingen and Antony McManus, a gay couple who have been together for 26 years and want to marry – but only when it is legal in their home town;

Peter Marshall, secretary of the United Firefighters Union, which has been a long standing supporter in the fight for equality; and

a representative from the National Union of Students.

Equal Love convenor Ali Hogg said:

“It’s an absolute disgrace that the prime minister will not even grant his own sister equal rights, let alone the many thousands of people in Australia who remain second class citizens. We in Equal Love are determined to keep the pressure on the Abbott government until we see marriage equality for all.”



The march will end at Victorian State Parliament.



Equal Love would like to thank the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation who recently raised $161.30 for Equal Love during their Rainbow cupcake morning tea.

We really appreciate your donation and thank you for your ongoing support in the fight for marriage equality.


If you or your organisation would like to donate to Equal Love you can deposit money directly into our commonwealth bank account. *

Equal Love

BSB: 06 3123

Account Number: 1043 6080


*Donations to Equal Love are not tax deductable. 

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