Australian Marriage Equality (AME) has today revealed its federal election campaign strategy - unveiling a website that has the stance on the issue of virtually all candidates for all electorates and Senate seats - and plans to target 500,000 voters across seven key inner-city electorates.
‘The aim of our campaign is to have as many pro-marriage equality candidates elected as possible by informing marriage equality supporters how they can vote for love,’ AME national director Rodney Croome said.
‘Marriage equality is a high priority for many Australians, especially young Australians, and could make the difference in key seats.’
At a launch event today US ice cream company Ben and Jerry's announced it had partnered with AME to run a high-profile social media and shop-front campaign through its stores.
Ben and Jerry's representative Kalli Swaik said, ‘Ben and Jerry's has long been a champion of marriage equality in the United States and is proud to support AME's Vote4love campaign.’
Ben and Jerry’s famously changed the name of their ice cream flavor Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby in 2009 to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Vermont.
Labor Senator Louise Pratt and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young both used the event to vow to work across party lines to achieve marriage equality.
‘Along with the Prime Minister and a majority of Labor members, I am committed to working across the parliament to make marriage equality a reality,’ Pratt said.
‘Some people have said marriage equality should not be a priority at this election, but the reality is it is a high priority for the millions of Australians who value love and equality. It's a simple issue of principle which we can act on while attending to all the other important issues facing the country.’
‘On my first day in parliament I introduced legislation for marriage equality because the Greens want to see equal love treated equally under the law,’ Hanson-Young said.
‘I am committed to the kind of cross-party co-operation that is essential to achieving equality. Marriage equality and removing discrimination is not a fad. It is hard fought for and essential. It is about the kind of values most Australians hold dear.’
In a written statement City of Sydney Liberal councilor Christine Forster, sister of Opposition leader Tony Abbott, said that allowing same-sex couples to marry was an issue that transcended party lines.
‘Marriage equality is not an issue of right or left,’ Forster said.
‘For gay people and our families, it is a very human issue that speaks to very human aspirations of love, commitment, family and fairness. If the Coalition wins on September 7th I would like to see it engage in open debate which would hopefully lead to a conscience vote on the issue, just as has occurred in the Conservative Party in the UK and the National Party in New Zealand.
‘There are a growing number of us in the Liberal Party who are working to make marriage equality a reality. Our approach is to engage in a constructive way with those who hold a different view. Marriage is about respecting and valuing the bonds we share with others. Achieving marriage equality will be based on the same values.’
Abbott was embarrassed this morning by US pop star Katy Perry who told him she wouldn’t vote for him if she was Australian when they both appeared on Sydney’s 2DayFM radio station.
Abbott had asked Perry when she was next to visit Australia, to which she replied, ‘Ah, come on – that’s not a political question.’
‘Let’s talk about gay marriage – love is equal!’
However Perry said that she still wanted to meet Abbott’s daughters – who are supporters of same-sex marriage.
Earlier this week Liberal Senator Sue Boyce told SBS TV that she believed a conscience vote on same-sex marriage would be possible within Abbott’s Liberal-National Coalition within three to six years – at which point same-sex marriage would most likely be legalized.