Thousands will get illegally married at same-sex marriage protest

Supporters of same-sex marriage protest in wedding dresses

Thousands of LGBT activists are staging a mass wedding in Melbourne tomorrow to protest for same-sex marriage.

Equal Love Melbourne has arranged to hold a number of illegal mass weddings between same-sex couples.

So far 7.3 thousand people have said they are attending with another 14 thousand interested on Facebook.

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The demonstration will take place tomorrow, August 26 and hopes to draw attention to the restrictions that LGBT couples in Australia currently face.

Comedians, politicians and celebrities are expected to attend, including Joel Creasey and Australian Idol winner Natalie Gauci.

Organisers explained that the rally will take place 13 years after Australian government amended the Marriage Act to ban same-sex weddings.

They said in the statement: “Australia is one of the few remaining Western countries in which LGBTI [people] are prohibited from marrying.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refuses to risk his leadership by standing up to the right-wing of his party on this important issue of civil rights, despite the majority of both houses of parliament supporting reform.

“Couples who would like to make a public declaration of their commitment are welcome to take part in the mass illegal wedding. Equal Love will be issuing marriage certificates to all couples who decide to mark this occasion by becoming illegally wed.”

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The weddings that will be held will not be legally binding but protesters hope that it will help to keep the issue at the forefront of debate.

It comes after a gay couple who have been together for three decades had an unofficial wedding outside of the Margaret Court Arena over the weekend to protest the homophobic tennis player.

Ron Van Houwelingen and Antony McManus staged the technically illegal ceremony over the weekend in a move to fight against the Margaret Court’s recent homophobic and transphobic comments.

Court said that she believed a “militant gay conspiracy” was out to get her.

She also compared LGBT activists to Adolf Hitler, said that transgender children had been influenced by the Devil and claimed that being a survivor of sexual abuse makes you gay.

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The couple explained that they found Court’s comments “abhorrent”.

Van Houwelingen said: “We believe that giving [Margaret Court] a platform for her hate speech is not acceptable given her status, so we’re sending her a message of love.

“Antony and I have been together 30 years this September and we believe that we should have the right to have our love sanctioned before the state.”