Huge turnout out for the Ipswich Marriage Equality Rally
THE heavens intervened on the Ipswich Marriage Equality Rally on Saturday, with the event moving indoors - ironically to a former Baptist Church.
Originally planned for d'Arcy Doyle Place, organisers moved the event to the Brisbane St church building, now Studio 188, as thunder storms threatened.
Nothing was going to stop more than 200 supporters that gathered for the event, organised by the Ipswich and Lockyer Greens party, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Ipswich and Australian Marriage Equality.
A lone protester wearing a high-visibility work jacket and sunglasses disrupted the first speech as Deputy Mayor Victor Attwood opened the rally, saying "marriage is between a man and a woman".
The rally then turned into a heated exchange as the crowd chanted "out, out, out" and a small group manhandled the protester out of the building.
As he returned to the lectern Cr Attwood told the crowd everyone had a democratic right to be heard but he wondered how informed some people were.
"I know when I came to Australia I wasn't chased out by rednecks," he said
"We are a very inclusive multicultural society and we have come a long way over the last 20 or 30 years in regards to human rights."
Australian Marriage Equality deputy director Ivan Hinton told the crowd "there always had to be one".
"That's the good thing about the campaign. There aren't that many left," Mr Hinton said.
"Our research indicates that strong opposition to marriage equality is down to 14%."
Greens Senator Larissa Waters and Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus also joined local politicians Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard, councillors Paul Tully and Andrew Antoniolli and Greens candidate for Blair Pat Walsh to address the rally.
Speakers criticised Member for Blair Shayne Neumann for his opposition to marriage equality.
Senator Lazarus said it was "un-Australian" for basic rights such as marriage to be denied.
"I have always thought that if you are an elected official to represent a community or a state you acted on what your constituents wanted," he said.
"I have been all over this state and overwhelmingly people are saying that they want elected government officials to vote on it through a conscience vote and let's get this done now rather than later. This will happen; it is just a matter of time."
Cr Tully said the Federal Government did not need a plebiscite to commit the country to war in the Middle East, put refugees on a Pacific Island, increase the GST to 15% and bring nuclear repositories to Queensland.
"They are spineless when they are not prepared to vote on a simple legislative amendment," he said.