I went along to the Marriage Equality Rally in Adelaide today. It was cold and wet, and still about 200 people turned up to rally outside South Australia’s Parliament House, and urge our parliamentarians to support marriage equality for all Australians. As I’ve written before, I don’t think the state should be involved in marriage at all, but FSM-dammit, if it is going to play the marriage game, then it shouldn’t be making judgements about which Australians are allowed to get married, and which are not.
The rally started with everyone gathered on the steps of Parliament, to get some shelter from the frequent rain squalls.*
Once the speeches started, people moved down to the pavement, ‘though I stayed up on the steps because I had the Strangelings with me,** and I wanted to be sure that I could keep them out of the rain if it started falling again. Which it did, and out popped the rainbow umbrellas.
The speeches were good, delivered by men and women, gay, lesbian and heterosexual. One speaker made the obvious, and excellent point that other countries in the world have marriage equality, and the sky hasn’t yet fallen. New Zealand has ‘civil unions’ – not a full scale ‘marriage’ but not too bad either, and a lot better than nothing. It has been heartwarming to see the number of gay and lesbian couples who have at last been able to stand up, in public, and have the state acknowledge that their relationship is real. And when I was in New Zealand just a few days ago, the sun was still shining, people were happy (or not) as usual, life was just carrying on. Really, what is there to be so scared about?
After the speeches, people headed off towards a pub. I didn’t go along – it’s not my party, and I don’t want to crash it, even though I support the cause. And, I had the children with me. So we went off down town for lunch. There was a huge display in the middle of Rundle Mall, in honour of some pandas. Adelaide seems to be getting itself all excited about some animals arriving at the zoo. The local paper has been carrying lots of photos and stories about it, and there’s a huge banner on the front page of its website about the pandas arriving this morning, complete with shots of the plane carrying them touching down. But not a word about the Marriage Equality Rally. I guess human rights just don’t matter as much.
Along with the panda display in the mall, there was face painting and cardboards masks, and balloons for the kids.
Guess which colour balloons the volunteers handed to the Misses Eight.
* M-H, I’ve chosen this photo because the woman in the centre is knitting.
** I’m not all that keen on taking children along to rallies and protests, especially when I see them holding banners and posters that they can’t possibly understand. But I didn’t have much choice about it; Mr Strange Land is away for a few days, so I could either take them with me, or not go at all. I explained what it was about to the girls, so they knew why I wanted to be there. And there were plenty of other children there too, with their mums and mums, and dads and dads. It seems wrong that the state will recognise the loving relationship between my children’s parents, but not the loving relationship between some other children’s parents.