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The Australian Ballet says YES to marriage equality

News - Classical Music | Theatre | Dance

The Australian Ballet says YES to marriage equality

by Justine Nguyen on September 13, 2017 (September 13, 2017) filed under Classical Music | Theatre | Dance | Comment Now
The company joins a long list of arts organisations and venues showing their support for same-sex marriage.

Last night The Australian Ballet reaffirmed their support for marriage equality after the opening of Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Dancers from the company proudly held aloft heart shaped balloons and balloons spelling out the word "YES", with many also carrying "YES" posters. Orchestra Victoria showed their support by playing Mendelssohn's Wedding March, with the audience encouraged to take and share photos of the cast on social media.

The Australian Ballet in support of marriage equality. Photo © Wendell Teodoro. 

“The Australian Ballet has a long and proud history of embracing equality and diversity,” said Artistic Director David McAllister. “We support equal rights for all Australians. And so we yes ‘YES’ to marriage equality because we believe that love is love.”

The Australian Ballet has been regularly updating their social media accounts with messages of support and reminders to check enrolment ahead of the postal vote. The company are currently performing at Arts Centre Melbourne, which is lighting the Spire in rainbow colours this week to show its support.

Among the many arts organisations that have put out similar messages of support, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra wrote on its social media accounts: “In solidarity with the LBGTIQ community in our industry and across the country, we encourage all Australians to participate in this important decision by voting YES for equality”.

Victorian Opera and Musica Viva Australia have made similar statements of support on social media. 

 

As has Opera Australia, which wrote on Facebook: "Opera Australia proudly supports marriage equality in Australia. Respect, diversity and equality are essential components of a happy and healthy workplace that fosters a strong sense of family across our administrative, creative and artistic staff, and the community as a whole."

Organisations including Opera Queensland, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Opera, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra as well as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth Festivals are among the many that have shown their support online, as are Belvoir St Theatre, Malthouse Theatre, Queensland Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company.

Sydney Theatre Company has written an open letter of support for the Marriage Equality campaign. "We recognise the right of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) employees, artists, volunteers, customers and broader community to live and work free of prejudice and discrimination. This includes the right to marry the partner of their choice, and to enjoy the legal safeguards and entitlements that come with marriage – entitlements that are currently not available to LGBTQI people who are a substantial cross-section of our Australian community," the letter reads. "Equality under the law is a fundamental Australian right, and legalising same-sex marriage is the right thing to do. We believe every Australian has the right to happiness."


The full letter of support from Sydney Theatre Company:

As a cultural organisation, Sydney Theatre Company want all Australians to be treated equally. We support marriage equality. 

We recognise the right of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) employees, artists, volunteers, customers and broader community to live and work free of prejudice and discrimination. This includes the right to marry the partner of their choice, and to enjoy the legal safeguards and entitlements that come with marriage – entitlements that are currently not available to LGBTQI people who are a substantial cross-section of our Australian community. 

Globally, over twenty countries have passed laws to allow same-sex marriage, including countries that are culturally similar to ours, like New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada and Great Britain. These countries did so with lower support for marriage equality than Australia is seeing right now. 

Research confirms that support for marriage equality is at its highest level ever. A recent survey from Crosby/Textor, one of Australia's leading social research companies, shows that 72% of Australians believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. The survey showed majority support in every demographic. Of the remaining 28%, only 14% strongly opposed the proposition. Culturally the change has already taken place. 

On 22 May 2015, the Republic of Ireland held a referendum to sanction same sex marriage. A 'Yes' vote was supported by the Government, all major political parties and the voters themselves. On 26 June 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States returned a judgement in favour of legalising same sex marriage across all 50 states. These two events see Australia isolated among countries with English as a first language.

Equality under the law is a fundamental Australian right, and legalising same-sex marriage is the right thing to do. We believe every Australian has the right to happiness. 

Sydney Theatre Company supports marriage equality.