Marriage equality leader visits Ballarat

BIG VOTE: National Yes campaign leader Tiernan Brady was in Ballarat to talk about same-sex marriage on Thursday morning. Picture: Jeremy Venosta
BIG VOTE: National Yes campaign leader Tiernan Brady was in Ballarat to talk about same-sex marriage on Thursday morning. Picture: Jeremy Venosta

Same-sex marriage Yes campaign head honcho Tiernan Brady appeared in Ballarat in an effort to convince the city’s voters to have their say.

Although voter turnout for the postal survey has been high, there were still millions of voters yet to return their ballot on Thursday morning.

Mr Tiernan said he wanted to thank all the Yes campaign volunteers for their work during the survey.

“This issue is about people in Ballarat as much as Sydney or Melbourne,” he said.

“The great thing about marriage equality is most people won’t be affected.

“But for the LGBTQI community, they will be included for the first time ever in marriage.”

Mr Brady met with the Ballarat Pride Hub and Yes campaigners during his visit.

The hub slammed Ballarat City Council on Thursday for its decision to ban flags from its community flag pole on Sturt Street while a new policy on its use was being created.

Council voted to remove all flags after No campaigners requested the opportunity to fly their own flag from the pole.

Ballarat City mayor Samantha McIntosh said reports she had voted to remove the rainbow flag were misleading and veiled with political game playing and insensitivity to the polarising debate.

“Many members of the community have questioned this position and my support, which has been hurtful and misguided,” she said.

“I stand here today and say that my support to marriage equality and my support to the LGBTQI community is unwavering and unchanged.

“Members of the community may disagree with council’s recent decision on this matter and they are free to have that disagreement.

“This disagreement must not detract from the issue at hand, which is one of inclusion, diversity and human rights.”

The same-sex marriage survey has been run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics through a postal vote.

Eligible voters have until 6pm, October 20 to return their ballot.

Mr Brady said anyone still had their ballot, or was yet to receive it, should act quickly to return a vote.

“A lot of people have half voted – they have a half filled out form on the table or in their handbag,” he said.