With one week to go before the same-sex marriage survey closes, there has been a renewed push from both sides to sway public opinion and ensure all Australians have voted.
No push has been quite so major, however, than the City of Sydney’s pledge to offer free weddings at community facilities if same-sex marriage is legalised.
Yep, according to a motion passed on Monday night, gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry in Sydney’s halls and parks without charge for 100 days following the postal survey if the ‘yes’ camp wins, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Of course, there’s been push-back from conservatives and people questioning the ‘equality’ of such a decision.
“This has been a fight for equality before the law and it’s my belief that we can’t ask for equality for ourselves and then deny it to others,” Liberal councillor Christine Forster told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Others, such as Labor councillor Linda Scott who moved the motion, believe 100 days of free weddings is a small price to pay to help heal years of persecution the LGBTIQ community has faced at the hands of the law, the government and the general public. Persecution that’s been intensified in the course of the same-sex marriage survey itself.
“This community has suffered significant discrimination and many have felt hurt during the campaign,” Scott told Fairfax. “This is a practical way for the council to combat discrimination.”
LISTEN: A message for Malcolm Turnbull about the same-sex marriage plebiscite. Post continues below.
Politicians aren’t the only ones making a final push for marriage equality.
Last night on ABC’s Q&A, actress and comedian Magda Szubanksi refuted suggestions from ‘No’ campaign spokesperson Karina Okotel that civil unions are suitable for gay and lesbian couples, and that legalising same-sex marriage will change society’s view on men and women.
“You’re sending a very clear message of equal but different,” Szubanski told Okotel. “It’s not like there’s an army of us who are going to take over. We just want to have the same rights and protections.”
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) October 23, 2017
Szubankski also touched upon the history of abuse the LGBTIQ community has suffered in Australia – damage that gestures such as offering 100 days of free marriage go some way in undoing.