A rally in support of the legalization
of gay marriage in Australia drew thousands on Saturday, The
Police estimated the crowd at more than
The demonstrators marched from Sydney's
Hyde Park to Darling Harbour, site of the Australian Labor Party's
(ALP) national conference.
The ALP, Australia's ruling party, on
Saturday voted to endorse altering its party platform and endorse
marriage equality. But the impact of the vote was diluted when the
party also endorsed Prime Minister Julia Gillard's motion to allow
lawmakers to make a “conscience vote” on bills related to gay
marriage, which allows lawmakers to vote as they please rather than
the party line.
Within hours of the vote, Labor
backbencher Stephen Jones announced he would introduce a private
members bill to legalize gay marriage in Australia.
The rally began an hour after the ALP
held its historic vote.
Activists at the demonstration vowed
not to forget Gillard's move, which effectively assures an uncertain
outcome on any vote on a gay marriage bill.
“Nice try Julia, not good enough,
we're coming. We'll march through this city like we've marched
before and we will keep marching until we get full equality,” Peter
Urmson, chairman of the Sydney Mardi Gras, told the crowd.
The crowd was joined at Darling Harbour
by Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Senator Doug Cameron, who
both support gay marriage.