Daylesford business owners have shown their support for same-sex marriage and many are hoping to set an example for regional communities around Australia.
Rainbow flags and “vote yes gay marriage” posters have been put on show in Daylesford shop windows since the announcement of a voluntary postal survey on same-sex marriage in early August.
The postal survey to be conducted from September 12 to November 7 will only take place if approved by the High Court on Wednesday.
It will be a survey, not a vote, meaning a majority ‘yes’ response would lead to a vote of parliament.
A ‘no’ result would mean no free vote on same-sex marriage in parliament.
Secret Garden of Daylesford nursery owner Louise Mclachlan and her partner Deb have been engaged for two years. She said she was disheartened when the postal survey was announced.
“I was fuming,” she said. Her anger led to the campaign to see Daylesford businesses support the ‘yes vote’.
Ms Mclachlan said she hoped Daylesford could lead the way in showing how regional communities could stand for equality.
“Daylesford really could lead the way to show the rest of regional Australia what is possible when you stand together as equal,” she said.
“Colour, race, sexuality, all of that disappears in Daylesford and that is what I love about our town. We are preaching to the converted here but having the rainbows out and the signs up we hope will tweak the consciousness of all the tourists who come through.”
Same-sex marriage has been legalised in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States, Malta, Puerto Rico, England, Scotland and Wales.
Anti-same-sex marriage groups, such as the Australian Christian Lobby, are pushing hard against change. The lobby released an advertisement against same-sex marriage in the lead up to the postal survey.
Daylesford Meat Co employee Jeffrey Chua said it was important for the town to have equality on show.
“Personally, as a gay person working at a butcher shop, I think it is really important to bring the word out that equality is very important,” he said. “It’s about being able to have a choice.”
Daylesford Chargrilled Chicken employee Shannon Martin said it was great to see support for same-sex marriage outside of a capital city.
“I have been in a 19-year relationship and I still can’t get married, so for me to see the local town band together for the yes vote is amazing,” he said.
Ms Mclachlan will run a meeting for same-sex marriage advocates on September 17. Those interested can contact Louise Mclachlan on 0439 417 212.