Sydney’s Loudest NO to Same Sex Marriage
In what was described as the biggest gathering for the No campaign in the Same Sex Marriage debate, Sydneysiders marched in drove on Sunday 8 October 2017 to a suburban park to celebrate the gift of the traditional family and the social and spiritual values it represents.
Over ten thousand people responded to a call by the Council of the Middle Eastern Churches in Australia and participated in the Festival for the Family on the vast fields of Fairfield Showground. Families arrived in buses and cars from different places and many were holding banners reading “It’s Okay to Vote NO”. The slogan was also inscribed on the blazers of the security and traffic officials.
Clergy and lay speakers alike took to the stage to talk about the sanctity of the Christian family and the bible’s and church’s teachings about marriage as one of the Seven Sacraments of the church and a covenant between a man, a woman and God. The speakers stressed the missionary dimension of marriage through procreation, a mission which can only be undertaken through marriage between a man and woman.
The day was not all about speeches though, but a day of celebration. Singers took to the stage and many of the huge crowds participated in traditional dancing and shared food and drink. There were thousands of men, women, children and elderly, in addition to people with special needs. They all came from different Eastern churches to have their say and celebrate.
“It is a wonderful family day out” a young mother told us. “It’s a rare opportunity for the silent majority to have their say, loud and clear, without fear of harassment”, another participant said.
The absence of the mainstream media was easily noticeable, while the ethnic media, especially the Arabic outlets, maintained a good presence. “The mainstream media were informed about the event”, one of the organisers said, “but they obviously decided to keep away to further marginalise the No campaign.”