Albury rallies to back gay marriage

BORDER residents will this weekend be asked to join the campaign to allow same-sex marriage.

Lobby group Australian Marriage Equality will hold events tomorrow and Sunday in Albury.

Tomorrow’s event will involve a meet-and-greet in QEII Square from 11am to 2pm, attended by the group’s national director, Rodney Croome.

Mr Croome is best known for the successful 1990s campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania.

Border gay and lesbian support service Hume Phoenix is supporting the weekend.

The group’s convenor Toni Johnson said many people who had heard of Mr Croome would like to meet him and hear what he had to say.

Ms Johnson and several group members this week presented the member for Farrer Sussan Ley with the findings of a poll they said shows 86 per cent of her constituents supported same-sex marriage.

Ms Ley was happy to meet the group but will not be available this weekend.

Ms Johnson said Australian Marriage Equality deputy director Ivan Hinton had handed the survey results to Ms Ley.

“Sussan thinks the people in Farrer aren’t ready for same-sex marriage, although it’s not necessarily her personal belief,” she said.

Ms Johnson said the survey result was a good starting point for people to pass their stories on to Ms Ley.

“A lot of people here want gay marriage and there’s also a lot of people who really don’t care — it’s not an issue for them,” she said.

“Older people are even quite surprised. Their attitude is ‘does it really matter’ and that people should just be allowed to be happy.”

Sunday’s event is a workshop at the Albury Library Museum from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

“This will provide advice on how people can present their stories to our MPs,” Ms Johnson said. “Everyone has got a story to tell.”

Anyone who wants to attend Sunday’s workshop must register by visiting the website australianmarriageequality.org/werewaiting/were-waiting-visits/albury.

Australian Marriage Equality will also hold discussions with Border councillors in Albury today.

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