University of Wollongong rally in support of same-sex marriage

MOBILISING SUPPORT: NUS national LGBTI officer Chris di Pasquale is encouraging students to vote YES for marriage equality. Picture: Adam McLean
MOBILISING SUPPORT: NUS national LGBTI officer Chris di Pasquale is encouraging students to vote YES for marriage equality. Picture: Adam McLean

University of Wollongong students refuse to be ‘’disenfranchised’’ and are stepping up efforts to get the YES vote for marriage equality across the line.

Wollongong students are joining thousands from other university campuses around the country in supporting the National Union of Students (NUS) LGBTI Department’s NUS says YES campaign.

As such a number of UOW groups have set up stalls which will be up all this week encouraging students to enrol to vote and change their address ahead of the August 24 postal vote deadline.

‘’The Liberals have obviously tried to disenfranchise students by setting a deadline to enrol or change your address,’’ NSW’s NUS education vice president Chloe Rafferty said.

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‘’There is going to be a bunch of stalls on campus with computers and iPads and we are going to be making lecture announcements in classrooms encouraging uni students to enrol and change their address so they are eligible to vote against the homophobic marriage laws that [John] Howard put through in 2004.

‘’We expect there to be a massive yes vote if we can mobilise people in time to enrol and change their address, because young people overwhelmingly by a massive majority support marriage equality.’’

Students involved in LGBTI activism will hold a protest rally at UOW on August 30, three days before a Marriage Equality NOW event at Wollongong Mall on August 27.

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‘’I’m not involved in organising that one but it is excellent a number of different groups are trying to mobilise marriage equality,’’ Rafferty said.

‘’We are looking particularly at focusing at young people and students because they are obviously the section of society that [Malcolm] Turnbull and [Peter} Dutton were hoping would not enrol in time.

This is just another delaying tactic from the Liberals and the homophobes in parliament because they should just pass the bill.

Chloe Rafferty

‘’They were hoping young people would be apathetic. But we’ve seen by the tens and tens of thousands of people in the space of a couple of days signing up to enrol or change their address, that young people are not apathetic, we care about civil rights.’’

Rafferty said it was ‘’disgusting’’ that we didn’t have marriage equality.

‘’This is just another delaying tactic from the Liberals and the homophobes in parliament because they should just pass the bill,’’ she said.

It’s a grubby, desperate move by Malcolm Turnbull to keep the nasty conservatives in his party on side, while deliberately disenfranchising young people.

Chris di Pasquale

‘’But we will try to galvanise the yes vote and encourage people to fill in their postal votes.’’

NUS national LGBTI officer Chris di Pasquale said no one supports the postal vote.

‘’It’s a grubby, desperate move by Malcolm Turnbull to keep the nasty conservatives in his party on side, while deliberately disenfranchising young people,’’ he said.

‘’Eighty-one per cent of young people between 18 and 24 support marriage equality yet 14 per cent are not on the electoral roll. That’s some 280,000 young people who aren’t currently able to have their say on this issue.’’