Pride Flag by Alejandro Lauren

Almost six years after the national postal survey on marriage equality, LGBTIQ+ groups around the country have united in support of the Voice to Parliament.

In partnership with BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation, 22 LGBTIQ+ groups from around Australia on Wednesday joined together in support of the Yes campaign for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander constitutional recognition.

Equality Australia, the organisation that grew from the overwhelmingly successful 2017 postal survey, said there were many parallels between the marriage equality vote and the push for an Indigenous Voice in Parliament.

“When there was a public vote about our lives, the majority of Australians had our back and it’s time to pay it forward,” said Equality Australia Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh.

“We know that laws and policies are better when governments listen to the voices of people who are most affected.”

Shane Sturgiss, CEO of the BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation, said it was time to bring allies together and build a groundswell of support.

“This is the second time our community has had the entire nation eyeballing them, knowing that conversations are being had about them in homes around the country and not all of them are favourable,” he said.

“Our queer community knows full well the fight for equality and to have our rights recognised. We know change is possible.

“The Voice stems from decades of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism and it’s a much-needed reform to ensure Aboriginal people have a say in the issues that affect us.

“A Yes vote in the referendum will ensure First Nations people are recognised, bringing a level of fairness and equality that has not been seen in Australia before.”

After consulting with its supporters, Equality Australia found widespread support for the Voice with 89.55% of people saying they would vote Yes in an online survey of 4078 people.

171 people (4.28%) were unsure of how they would vote and 231 people (5.78%) said they would vote No.

Equality Australia released an artwork in recognition of the ties between the First Nations and LGBTIQ+ communities and calling for support for a Yes vote.

Created by artist Wayde Clark, known as Alejandro Lauren, a Wiradjuri and Birpai man and member of the LGBTIQ+ community, the artwork of the Inclusion Flag is comprised of journey lines and meeting places which symbolise the inclusion of everyone and the importance of recognition.

“I wanted to bring Australia and everyone’s journey into the artwork, into all the different colours, just to make it inclusive because a world that has inclusivity is a world that I want to live in,” the artist said.

“I’ve had to vote yes, twice. I’ve had to vote Yes for marriage equality… and now I’m having to vote Yes to have a voice here in Australia and to have my people a part of the constitution.

“I would love for you to love the artwork and vote Yes, too.”