Pride March in Bendigo to mark marriage equality vote

BENDIGO SAYS YES: VACountry program coordinator Harry McAnulty urges people to show their support for LGBTI community members. Picture: DARREN HOWE
BENDIGO SAYS YES: VACountry program coordinator Harry McAnulty urges people to show their support for LGBTI community members. Picture: DARREN HOWE

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WITH the marriage equality postal vote soon to reach our mailboxes, information hubs are popping up throughout the Bendigo electorate. 

The street stall blitz marks the start of a series of events planned throughout the region, intended to encourage people to show their support for the LGBTI community.

Six stalls will be operating in Bendigo from 10am – noon on Saturday. 

Further information hubs are planned for Castlemaine, Maldon and Woodend.

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An initiative by Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters and the Rainbow Labor Network Victoria, the stalls will offer people the opportunity to learn more about the ballot process.

People approaching the stalls will be encouraged to say yes to marriage equality. 

“People can pick up a poster, have a photo taken, sign a petition or find out about how to vote yes in the ballot process,” Ms Chesters said.

Support for marriage equality will also be evident at the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Parade on Sunday, where people will gather to spread the message that ‘love is love’.

On September 15, a fundraiser for the marriage equality campaign will take place at the Goldmines Hotel in Bendigo.

Ms Chesters will host the Let’s Make Equality Happen event.

“I’m disappointed the High Court challenge upheld the postal survey. However, now that we have to have a vote, we must vote and we’re encouraging people to vote yes,” she said.

Source: FACEBOOK

Source: FACEBOOK

The following day, the Relay for Marriage Equality comes to Bendigo.

The Pride March will make its way from the Bendigo Trades Hall to the Conservatory Gardens, from noon on September 16.

Tash Joyce, of Bendigo Says Yes, said the march was intended to express appreciation for members of the LGBTI community.

“A major part in the decision to do that was so the community could get together and have an opportunity to support each other publicly,” she said. 

She encouraged people attending the parade to dress in their brightest outfits and bring placards with messages of love and support.

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VACountry program coordinator Harry McAnulty said the Bendigo community had been fantastic in showing its support.

However, he said the postal vote could be a vulnerable time for people, particularly members of the LGBTI community.

Mr McAnulty said people could contact Switchboard/QLife on 1800 184 527 from 3pm - midnight for support or chat online.

Outside of those hours, the 24-hour 13 11 14 Lifeline hotline and 1300 659 467 Suicide Callback Service are available.

People aged 25 years or younger can also call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.