Waiting for YES

Don’t wait for the big boys and girls: get going now
UPDATED with news of more activity
Please send through details of what you are doing, with links

The NO campaign against marriage equality is off and running, with a raft of bishops (including Bronwyn), an Abbott, the Australian ‘Christian’ Lobby, and even the reanimated remains of a John Howard weighing in. Where the hell has YES got to?

Here’s what I found so far, and the best advice I can give you was given long ago by Lily Tomlin:

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

So this is me, doing something. I mentioned on Facebook that I had found some “Equality” badges left over from “Rainbow Flags Over Margaret Court Arena”, and was thinking of taking them down to Westfield Doncaster when I went shopping.

Within a couple of hours there were four of us – thank you Felicity, Lorien and Emerson – complete with rainbow sashes, a rainbow cape (from the $2 shop), and a stack of How To Enrol leaflets freshly printed at Officeworks (who threw in 100 extra for free – thank you!).

We spent a couple of hours around the Food Court at Westfield Doncaster (lots of students), until security very nicely told us to stop.

Felicity & Lorien

You should try it. Do it.  It feels amazing and empowering. And most people are really nice. Next time we’ll do it properly – I’ve asked Westfield for a permit. But what is anyone else doing? I asked around



The Victorian Greens are off and running, lots of Greens events generally.


Something is happening in Moreland :a group to co-ordinate the “Yes” to marriage equality campaign locally in the Moreland area.


Sharon Faulkner PFLAG in Geelong has an organising committee, going public shortly.


We haven’t organised teams for that (doorknocking etc) So far there has been stalls in streets, activity on campuses and phone calling, but if anyone can tell you for sure it would be Trades Hall. They have several people working full time on this. A lot of the door to door work will be likely to happen after the enrolments close. The campuses and workplaces of young people have been a priority due to the stats of them being less likely to being enrolled.


We will be focusing on CBD train stations at least to begin with, we also have people who are happy to letterbox Seymour and parts of Southbank. To answer your question no (doorknocking/letterboxing teams) at the moment.

I would suggest starting a group yourself and keeping people in the loop about which postcodes have been done.

AME/equality campaign/ getup are setting up systems to run this at the moment.

There are PDF versions of all sorts of campaign material on the equality campaign website available for use. ( obviously people have to print it themselves)


An Enrol To Vote Equality Weekender



GetUp – Sally Rugg said, in effect, watch this space, they’re setting something up with AME/EQUALITY CAMPAIGN


Crickets, but believed to be organising teams with GetUp (see above)


Just.equal PFLAG Rodney Croome – concentrating on court case / Tasmanian anti-discrimination at the moment. Ivan Hinton-Teoh says:

“from the date the postal vote was announced we mobilised a social media campaign on our various platforms to get people to enrol & update their details? We can’t discount the significance of the power of social media to reach this specific cohort. We’ve reached an average of 4.5M Facebook users a week across the various pages we are partnered with.

…and we encourage, at this crucial point, Facebook activists to share every post that has the AEC website mentioned on it, tagging anyone they believe it may be relevant to.”


Rainbow Labor has nationally operated almost two hundred specific activities in the past week. Every morning over ten Sydney railway stations were manned, Victoria has been operating over twenty doorknocks, street stalls and voter drivers each day as well as phone banking, and an entire union movement has mobilised in support.

Almost every Union nationally has changed social media profiles, called and sent text messages to their members, and activated phone banks and call trees. Tens of thousands of calls and text messages have already been sent, Union members have been notified – via multiple mediums.


Aram Hosie wrote to the stirrer:

Rainbow Labor have been doing street stalls, phone banks, door knocks and train stations for at least a week now. ALP politicians have been drenching social media with almost daily postings re enrolling & voting.

A bunch of mainstream businesses have been offering all sorts of incentives for people to ensure they’re enrolled

AllOut are contacting all the members on their membership lists, just like most of the LGBT organisations

A Muslims for Marriage Equality group has been launched and is campaigning, and another one for Aussies overseas.


So the answer seems to be “do it yourself” (but keep us informed)! Like these folks at the Marriage Equality Postal Vote Action Group.


You can download PDF files and print leaflets at Officeworks or similar from here: also contains links to Equality Campaign download site. CLICK HERE->

My badges came from the Victorian Human Rights Commission: email your request to communications@veohrc.vic.gov.au and indicate how many you’d like. I don’t know if they have any more, but enough people ask, who knows?

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)