#GiveOzAHug this Monday in Soho at 6.30pm

Over the past few weeks a group of people who were involved in the Soho Orlando vigil last year have put together a wonderfully simple idea to send some love and support to the YES Campaign in the forthcoming marriage equality vote in Australia. The idea is that, next Monday (23 Oct) you come to Old Compton Street, near the Admiral Duncan from 6.30pm and at 7pm, give someone a hug, a huge PDA to send a message to the world that the London scenes stands with the LGBT people of Australia. We hear from the main organisers about why this is so important.

Son of a Tutu

LGBTQI equality rights are being threatened in all corners of the world including countries with conservative attitudes and, others who were once thought to be progressive where are rights are concerned. The referendum in Australia, a country one would believe to be in the progressive grouping has so far shown, during the course of the campaign, the real possibility of a ‘No’ outcome which would be catastrophic to global equality rights. As a result, we all have a responsibility to 1) Let Australia know that the world is watching and expects them to vote ‘yes’ in accordance with the human rights enshrined in its constitution, common law and legislation and, what is fair and just; 2) Mobilise the over 1million Australians in diaspora (5% of its global population) to post their YES votes by the looming deadline – October 27; 3) help raise funds for the YES campaign which is being outspent 5:1 by the NO camp; and 4) raise awareness wherever we can about the importance of this vote and the dangerous consequences of a NO result for us all.

Let’s all come out and show support on Monday the 21st and encourage our Aussie mates of all genders and sexuality to #PostYourYes by October 27th. Much Tutu Love xxx

Joseph Williams – Drive CIC 

Marrying your partner isn’t a privilege. We have fought for a long time to be treated equally in the UK and have a duty to do everything we can to ensure the LGBT+ communities in other countries can be rewarded the same liberty as us.

Jack Flavell – Jack’s Sign Language Interpreting Services LTD

Marriage is one of the greatest symbols of love. It’s the moment you tell the world you have found the person you want to share your life with, to travel with, to have a home with, wash the dishes with and possibly have children with.

Celebrating that love and having it recognised legally is a right that we should all have.

Mark Healey – 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign 

I am supporting this campaign because love is a universal human right – everyone, everywhere should be free to love, live with and marry whomever they choose. Whether that’s someone of the same sex or the opposite sex – it should make no difference. I hope we can make a difference by showing our love and solidarity to those campaigning for equal marriage in Australia – to give them the strength to push forward and win their campaign, whilst at the same time being a beacon of hope to all others struggling for their rights around the world.

Dave Cross – Boyz Magazine 

Now more than ever we all need to be fighting for equal rights, no matter what the colour of our skin, our gender or who we chose to love. Coming along next Monday and hugging someone, a friend, a lover or whoever sends a simple message not only to the LGBT folk in Oz but to the world; love is what matters, not who you love.

Monday 23 October, meeting from 6.30pm outside the Admiral Duncan on Old Compton Street, with the hug happening at 7pm. 

Please use #GiveOzAHug and check out details on the group’s Facebook page. 

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