Thor star Chris Hemsworth fighting for equal marriage in Australia

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One of the Avengers is defending the world from homophobia.

Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in Marvel’s massively-popular cinematic universe, added his voice ahead of a public vote on equal marriage in Australia.

Thursday is the last day that voters can register or update their details in Australia ahead of the snap vote, with ballots expected to be posted out in late September.

Ahead of the vote, Aussie actor Chris Hemswoth added his voice to equality.

Hemsworth said: “Dear open minded, free speaking, laid back, life loving Aussies. Marriage is about love and commitment and, in a country based on equal citizenship, it should be available to everyone! Vote now for marriage equality.”

Ahead of the deadline, Equality Campaign ambassadors Ian Thorpe and Ryan Channing released a video urging all Australian supporters of marriage equality to register and update their electoral details so that they can vote ‘Yes’.

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Samsung)

Equality has a lead in the polls, but as the voting method is untested, campaigners are urging people to do all they can to get out the vote before the deadline.

Alex Greenwich from the Equality Campaign said: “Australians only have hours left to enrol and update their details to be able to vote for their gay and lesbian friends, family members, colleagues and team mates.

“Supports of marriage equality must make sure they don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate in making history and joining the millions of Australians ready to celebrate fairness and equality.”

Executive director of the Equality Campaign Tiernan Brady said: “Every Australian who supports fairness and equality for all must make sure they and their friends are updated and enrolled.

“Marriage equality will not change anything for the vast majority of Australians, but will make a profound difference to the status and dignity of many.”

Confused? Check out our explainer – What the hell is going on with same-sex marriage in Australia? 

Ahead of the vote there has been a surge in homophobic hate speech in the country, with leaflets distributed in Sydney bearing the slogan ‘stop the fags’ and linking gay people to ‘child predators’.

The ‘Coalition for Marriage’ has recently put out materials suggesting that letting gay couples marry will deprive children of a normal childhood and make them transgender.

Meanwhile, leading politicians have brandished the slogans ‘it’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve’ and compared gay weddings to marrying the Eiffel Tower.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently defended the vote despite the string of incidents, responding by telling people to hug their gay friends.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has been harshly critical of the PM for pushing ahead with a postal vote.

He said: “There will be no protection against ballot fraud, electoral bribery, intimidation, interfering with the electoral roll or publishing misleading and deceptive material.

“[The Prime Minister] is giving his blessing to billboards, websites, pamphlets, TV advertising and online material that will vilify and demean LGBTI Australians and their children.

“We know this bile will end up in the playground, in the schoolyard and on the sporting field. The slogans will be shouted at the children of same-sex couples. Young people who are gay will be confronted by it on social media every day.

“I loathe the trolls and the haters but I expected more from the Prime Minister. I hold the Prime Minister responsible for every hurtful bit of filth this debate will unleash.

“That is not because the Prime Minister has said it, not because the Prime Minister agrees with it—he clearly doesn’t—but because the Prime Minister has licensed this debate.

“You are the leader, Mr Turnbull; you have given permission. I will never hold you in the same light again. I hold the Prime Minister responsible and Australians will too.”