Spirits high as group marches for marriage equality
SPIRITS were high as about 110 people gathered at Apex Park in Gladstone on Saturday to make a stand on the right for same-sex marriage.
There were those directly affected by current legislation plus friends, family and general supporters.
Emilie Glossop, who with her partner Mikayla has a seven-month-old daughter, said she believed the main ingredient to raising a child was love.
"It shouldn't be any different," she said.
Upholding the biblical meaning of marriage has been a factor for those against same-sex marriage.
"I'm religious myself, I was brought up to love everybody.
"And if people within the church were to question me and my way of living, well I would reply to them to say, 'Why has God blessed me to fall in love with Mikaylah and why has he blessed us with our little daughter?'"
Rally organiser Dylan Carmichael discussed the legal limbo of crossing between regions where same-sex unions were and were not recognised.
Nerrilyn Diefenbach also spoke, and was passionate about the cause.
"He certainly didn't choose to be gay," she said.
"There's not many who would choose to deal with the daily discrimination that they face."
However, not everyone agreed. In the park adjacent to the marriage equality rally, a demonstration against the main protest was being held.
It was peaceful and small, but a church group's message was that "marriage was a Christian concept and therefore between a man and a woman".
Organiser Steve Muller said it was the first time the group had protested publicly.
"We wanted to a be voice that was heard in the community as well as people who support the traditional definition of marriage," he said.
"We feel it is important to stand up for the rights of children to have a mum and a dad."
Mr Muller said they weren't personally attacking anyone.
"I do understand that they want to change the definition of marriage. We don't wish them any ill," he said.
"We believe marriage is an institution that God created. And so nobody really has any business to redefine what marriage is."
An online poll conducted by The Observer recorded 61% of people supporting same-sex marriage, 34% against and 4% having no opinion either way.
Places same-sex couples can marry in include Canada, Spain, South Africa, Portugal, Mexico, Argentina, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, plus US states of Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and the District of Columbia.