More than 10,000 people from migrant communities attended a Sydney family festival on Sunday, demonstrating strong support for a No vote among Australians of ethnic heritage, Catholic Outlook reports.
Organised by the Eastern Churches of Australia and backed by the Coalition for Marriage, the event was held Sydney's Fairfield Showgrounds. The festival included rides, food stalls, music and dancing, as well as powerful addresses delivered by federal MP Michael Sukkar; Coalition for Marriage spokeswoman Sophie York; Melkite Bishop of Australia Robert Rabbat; Australian Chinese for Families representative Dr Pansy Lai; and Susan Hourani from Radio 2Moro.
Dr Lai, who co-ordinated a petition of more than 17,000 Australian-Chinese parents against Safe Schools in NSW, which was then followed by similar petitions from the Australian-Indian and Australian-Lebanese communities, addressed the crowd about the link between a change in the marriage law, the introduction of radical LGBTIQ sex and gender programs in the classrooms, and the removal of parental rights.
“We parents have a say in what our kids get taught about life, relationships, sex and marriage. We parents are the ones who must speak up to protect our children because nobody is going to do it for us,” Dr Lai said.
Following on from Dr Lai’s call to protect the family, Mr Sukkar commented on the cultural importance of the link between mother and child. “I’ve learned you don’t come between a Lebanese mother and her kids,” he said to rupturing applause. Mr Sukkar reminded the crowd that it was not only okay, but their duty, to say 'No'.
Coalition for Marriage spokeswoman Sophie York called the gathering “energising”.
“It shows that there is still so much energy and so much resolve in the No camp. The people I met today are committed to working tirelessly to ensure that as many No votes as possible are posted over the coming weeks.
“Too often in this debate, the diverse voices of Australia’s migrant communities have been ignored. These people are the silent majority, but we heard them loud and clear in Fairfield yesterday. In different dialects, they had the same message: 'we are voting No',” Ms York concluded.
10,000 people attend Western Sydney marriage rally (Catholic Outlook)
10,000 back true marriage at family festival (The Catholic Weekly)
10,000+ at marriage rally in western Sydney heartland (Coalition for Marriage)
Dutton predicts Yes will win SSM survey (The Australian)