The same-sex marriage postal survey is underway following the High Court’s approval this month, and the ballots have started hitting mailboxes.
Major rallies and demonstrations took place across the nation over the past month. Thousands turned out to show their support in Melbourne and Brisbane, while Sydney saw Australia’s largest “Yes” campaign rally held to date, with a crowd of more than 30,000. Demonstrators marched in Adelaide and Perth on the weekend.
Protestors aren’t the only ones saying “yes” in a public way. Organisations big and small are making their opinions known. More than 1600 organisations have become signatories to the “Yes” campaign, publicly pledging their support. These include Adobe, Amazon, eBay, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Pandora, Salesforce, Telstra, Twitter, Uber, Vodafone, and Wordpress.
Another is Coca-Cola, which earlier this week illuminated its iconic Kings Cross sign in Sydney in the colours of the rainbow. It will continue to do so until the survey’s results are known.
“Every person has the right to happiness, so we believe it’s time for a change in Australia,” Coca-Cola said in a statement.
Apple has been a long-time supporter of marriage equality and released a statement re-confirming its stance this week.
Some of Australia’s largest sporting codes have also made their support for a Yes vote known. In the past week, the NRL, AFL players and Cricket Australia have publicly endorsed the Australian Marriage Equality movement.
“There is still progress to be made across sport,” said James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia in a statement. “We hope that supporting marriage equality will send a strong message to the cricket community across Australia that we are a sport for all.”
Australia’s cultural institutions are also advocating for the change.
Last Tuesday night, following the opening night of The Australian Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the cast surprised the audience with an encore, armed with balloons and posters in support of a Yes vote (while the orchestra played the Wedding Waltz).
The ballet’s Melbourne home – the Arts Centre – also lit up its iconic spire in the colours of a rainbow.
“We’re taking a public stance in support of the “Yes” vote – as a leader in the creative arts sector but also as an iconic landmark,” says Claire Spencer, CEO of the Arts Centre Melbourne. “We believe it’s important to support a message of equality.”
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne has also thrown its cultural cachet behind the pursuit of same-sex marriage legalisation.
“We want to be part of a community that values inclusivity and equality,” acting CEO Graham Jephcott tells Broadsheet.
“For the duration of the postal survey, we are proudly illuminating the ACMI sign above our Flinders Street entrance in the colours of the rainbow flag as a highly visible show of our support for a yes result.”
In recent months, Perth artist Marcus Canning’s Freo Rainbow – nine shipping containers balanced together in the arc of a rainbow – has become a focal point for the equality movement. Last month, hundreds gathered around the installation in a rally of support.
“It was fantastic, we ended up having more people than we expected,” says Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt. “With the spelling out of the word ‘Yes’ under the rainbow there were too many people to fit in – so we had a huge group of people underlining it.”
On a smaller but equally important scale, venues and small businesses throughout Australia are using their spaces as platforms for endorsing the “Yes” campaign. Stores and cafes are using their shopfronts and floor space to show their support. Shops like Melbourne’s KIOSK by Georgia Perry are covering their windows with enormous “Yes” designs. In the lead-up to August’s enrolment deadline, Brisbane’s Menagerie cafe offered free wi-fi to whoever would use it to enrol to vote.
Sydney cafe John Montagu is using tongue-in-cheek humour to emphasise the normality of same-sex marriage.
“We not only employ people who care about this issue, we serve a lot of them too,” says co-owner Narada Kudinar. “Other than the usual poster on the window we thought we’d have some fun with a bit of a light-hearted approach”.
They’ve created a “Yes” menu, which features meals with the same ingredients paired with one another (for example, fish tacos with salmon and hoki).
There’s the lemongrass ginger black tea – an acronym for LGBT which “actually worked out and tastes really nice,” says Kudinar.
Ballots have been sent out across Australia. Voting closes on November 7. If you've seen any excellent examples of support, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.