Gays outraged at Catholic rally plans

Steve Onley is disappointed about a proposed protest against same-sex marriage in Canberra. Picture: DAVID THORPE
Steve Onley is disappointed about a proposed protest against same-sex marriage in Canberra. Picture: DAVID THORPE

THE Border’s homosexual community has hit back at organisers of a rally against same-sex marriage, saying the protest is futile.

Albury members of the Wagga Catholic Diocese will hire buses to travel to Parliament House in Canberra next month to “stand up for traditional marriage”.

But Hume Phoenix male convenor Steve Onley said members of his social support group were disappointed.

“The anger stems from people again dictating to a minority group that we can’t do what we want to do,” he said.

“The protest is futile because as far as I’m concerned the laws are going to pass, it’s only a matter of time and people just need to get used to the idea.

“It will take a while but it’s not constructive having these anti-gay marriage rallies because it is inevitable; they’re just wasting their time.”

Mr Onley, who has been engaged to his partner Paul for more than three years, said same-sex marriage should not be regarded as a religious issue.

“I think religion needs to be taken out of the argument, it should be a civil decision,” he said.

“My partner and I don’t want to get married in a church, we just want the equal rights we’ve been striving for and to have these rallies against us is really disappointing.”

Mr Onley said the protest showed the church was “out of touch” with society and was becoming less relevant in modern times.

“Are they not listening to the polls on gay marriage that show more people are for it than against it?” he said.

“I understand where they’re coming from in regards to marriage but I hope they realise what we’re looking for is not to be married in a church under a religious banner.

“We just want to have the opportunity to be married.”

Mr Onley said there was the chance of pro-homosexual marriage rallies on the Border.

“There is a very large gay and lesbian population in Albury-Wodonga and its surrounds and we’re not being listened to, so there’s a real possibility we might take further action,” he said.

Mr Onley agreed with protest organisers that traditional marriage laws were under threat because the Greens held the balance of power in the Senate.

"The last bastion we’re fighting for is to have the right to marry and I think that will work in our favour,” he said.