Marching for equality

Equal rights campaign: Tarleea Philips, Alex Matthews and Koby Bunney will lead the same-sex rights march on Saturday. Picture: Kate Healy
Equal rights campaign: Tarleea Philips, Alex Matthews and Koby Bunney will lead the same-sex rights march on Saturday. Picture: Kate Healy

A march supporting same-sex rights and equality will be held this weekend.

The rally will begin at 2pm on Saturday in the Bridge Mall and make its way up Sturt Street passed the Town Hall into Camp Street for a ‘speak out'.

One of the event organisers Koby Bunney said MPs Catherine King and Sharon Knight, along with City of Ballarat councillor Belinda Coates had confirmed they will attend.

“Sometimes when we do march through Ballarat we do get some people yelling out and heckling us,” he said.

“That does draw out some anger in people and some want to let off some steam and voice to our federal leaders to start setting an example and stop being sheep.

“It’ll be good to have Catherine King and Sharon Knight come along because it’s important for our politicians to see what happens.”

The debate over same-sex marriage has been heavily discussed by politicians throughout 2015.

Mr Bunney said this will be the 10th equal rights action rally in Ballarat.

“On Valentine's Day 2010 I organised our first march,” he said.

“There has been a lot of support shown nation-wide. Ballarat was the second regional city in Australia to join an equal love campaign.

“Now every regional city has had a rally. Geelong just had theirs and speaking with the organisers they said Ballarat inspired them.

“In Melbourne it might be okay to be gay and easy to live your life. Here, it is getting easier, but it's still not there yet.”

A "yes" vote in a proposed 2017 plebiscite on same-sex marriage equality would deliver the change immediately, with legislation to be put to Parliament before the next election under a new plan being considered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“I think it is inevitable,” Mr Bunney said. “In the polls two-thirds of Australians support marriage equality

“We are definitely getting close and with Malcolm Turnbull saying that a plebiscite is going to cost $150,000 and with the support it is going to succeed, then why is it not just being passed?

“At the end of the day this is about love and about the right to have equal access to your partner.”