Let’s face it, the marriage equality postal survey sucks. We didn’t want it, much of the Australian public didn’t want it – but we’re stuck with it. Now that the High Court has dashed any hope of getting rid of the postal survey, it’s time to unite to make sure we win a YES for marriage equality.
Unlike a regular election, it isn’t compulsory and we know from past statistics on postal surveys that young people aged 18-24 are the least likely to respond to them. It’s up to everyone who is voting yes to make sure we can encourage as many people as possible to vote in favour of marriage equality, even in the face of adversity and lies from much of the ‘no’ side.
Here are some tips on how to win the marriage equality postal survey:
Social media is incredibly important, but the truth is one-to-one conversations with as many people as possible will be key in determining who will win this survey. This means volunteering and making calls with voters on why marriage equality is important. Luckily, if you go to www.yes.org.au you can find out where people are calling near you! In every capital city they are doing weekly if not daily calling events. All you need to do is bring a phone. Someone will help you out and teach you how to call and talk to people on the phone. It may be scary the first time, but after awhile you will realise how easy it is. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by great people with the same goal – and you can always go to the pub afterwards and socialise with your new friends.
If you’re too nervous to call strangers (don’t worry you’ll get there) call family and friends on why a yes vote is important to you. Don’t just write a Facebook status update, pick up the phone and talk to them. It’s much more persuasive when someone talks to you with their own words on why marriage equality is important.
If you’re feeling particularly brave and have mastered calling strangers, have you thought about holding your own calling event? It’s really easy to do – go to www.yes.org.au where you can register and sign up your own event. Bring your mates, some food and have a fun time – because calling events are super fun!
Wear your colours out and proud
It’s important to wear your colours out and proud – you can buy great marriage equality tees (that are 100% ethically produced) here. You can also buy some of The Queer Av’s very own merchandise here. Wearing your colours out and proud is important because it not only lets people know how you’re voting, you’re also indicating to people who might be feeling alone, that you’re standing alongside them. Don’t just wear your colours at a rally, wear them at work, or when you’re out and about.
Social media is important though
I know I said one-on-one conversations are important – but social media is still important. It helps spread a message to potentially millions of people if it’s viral. Share your story on why marriage equality is important, share links on why marriage equality is important, do selfies of yourself at a marriage equality rally – spread the message as far and as wide as possible that you are voting yes.
Hold a voting party
Hold an event where you and your friends go to the postbox and post your yes votes together. If we’re going to be forced to vote on human rights, I think it’s a good idea to make it fun wherever possible. Take heaps of photos and share it widely on social media to let everyone know you’ve voted. Head to postboxselfie.com to find out where to locate your nearest postbox, and make sure you use the hashtag #postboxselfie.
Pledge your vote
You can pledge your vote (and receive reminders to post your vote) at voteyes.org.au. Not only that – you can find your nearest postbox here as well – this is particularly important for everyone who hasn’t posted a letter in a very long time like myself. Get your friends and family to do it as well.
Connect with allies – they are everywhere
Lucky for the yes campaign, there are allies everywhere. The union movement (you can join your union here) are working hard to win marriage equality in Australia. Unions across Australia are holding calling events, street stalls and rallies to win marriage equality. Political parties like the Australian Labor Party and The Greens are also working to win the vote. Get in contact with them on how you can volunteer for the campaign. Businesses are also worth checking out – if you’re making posters and signs, find a supportive business who would be interested in printing your material. You might get lucky and get a discount. Also try and find businesses who are willing to have a marriage equality sign in their windows.
The YES campaign needs money. It’s really expensive to run TV ads, print posters and organise rallies. Donating some money will help them continue the YES campaign during the survey and afterwards if needed. You can donate here.
Oskar lives in Melbourne and works in the trade union movement specialising in social media. In the past he has been a field organiser on WA Labor campaigns. He used to be science teacher and thinks teaching mitosis is rad.