One of the stars of the Harry Potter films is urging Australians living in the UK to vote ‘yes’ for marriage equality.
Miriam Margoyles who played Professor Pomona Sprout in the movies told Aussie expats their ‘participation was vital’. She has starred in a video for the Equality Campaign alongside other UK based actors and entertainers.
Australia is in the middle of a postal survey on marriage equality. Its citizens are being asked whether they think same-sex marriage should be legalized.
The video is part of a campaign to make sure Australians living abroad have their voices heard in the survey.
At any one time there are more than 200,000 Australians living and working in the UK.
‘I have lived and worked in the UK for the past two-and-a-half years and had been thinking of ways I could get involved with the marriage equality campaign back home,’ said the video’s director Doug Hansell.
‘Given there are more than 200,000 Aussies living in the UK at any one time, I thought it would be great to shoot a targeted video campaign for the expat community at large, providing info on how to vote, the reasons for doing so, and raising awareness of the campaign in general.’
Professor Sprout says YES
Margoyles is a UK-born comedienne and actress. She divides her time living between the UK and Australia with her partner of 49 years, Heather Sutherland.
Margolyes said even if you are thousands of miles away from home, ‘your participation is vital’.
The overseas votes are so important
‘If you’re enrolled to vote back home, your vote could be decisive in getting marriage equality across the line,’ the video says.
The Equality Campaign’s Co-Chair Janine Middleton said Australians abroad had been following the campaign through social media, but many may be unaware they have a right to participate.
‘If you are on the electoral roll in Australia you need to fill out the postal survey form and return it,’ she said.
‘Many overseas Australians are LGBTI themselves and are already married in one of the 25 jurisdictions that recognise same-sex marriage.
‘At present, they face the prospect of their marriages being declared void as soon as they step off the plane. That is a terrible injustice that can’t be allowed to continue.’
How to vote overseas
Eligible Australians overseas can participate in the survey in several ways. They can nominate a trusted person in Australia to fill in the form on their behalf. Or they can use a unique 16-digit Secure Access Code to submit a response online or by phone.
The deadline to apply for the Code is October 20.
For more information on how expat Australians can participate in the survey, go to the Australian Bureau of Statistics website https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/overseas