The strength of rain did not hinder thousands of Australians from attending the love rally on Sunday at Northbridge’s Russell square, calling out for government’s support to equality in marriage, news said.
Attendees included organizers, politicians, clergy, parents and grandparents of same-sex partners and same-sex couples asking the government for cross-party, free conscience vote in August when federal politicians return from winter break.
Federal MP from Perth, Alannah MacTiernan, who was among the attendees of the rally, described the event as “brilliant,” according to the news. MacTiernan was delighted to see the huge crowd of different sections in their community present to support marriage equality.
“Australia once led the way in social inclusiveness, including the woman’s vote. Now, were are dragging the chain—we are way behind,” MacTiernan was quoted by WA Today as saying, adding that the love rally delivered a strong message to all politicians who are “either too scared to take a stand, sitting on the fence or out to be divisive.”
“This rally shows them the depth of support for this cause. History shows whenever our society has embraced change—it has become better for it,” MacTiernan continued saying.
Mark McGowan, state opposition leader, opined that the time has come for marriage equality, saying, “Australians are tolerant, fair-minded people who want everybody to have every opportunity in life. Gay and lesbian couple should have the same opportunities as everybody else.”
The crowd was given a number to send a message to the government officials and one organizer, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, urged the crowd to “break the telephone system,” the news said, as everyone keyed into their phones the number given to them.
Organizers claimed the turn-out in was greater than the combined rallies in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. Canberra drew a 3,000-crowd, while Sydney and Melbourne each recorded 2,500 attendees. But more than 16,000 expressed intention on Facebook that they would attend the Perth rally. But in the end, due to heavy rains, police estimated the attendance at 5,000.
Even after 1 p.m., people were still coming, while those who were already at the square were singing “Love is love,” according to the news.