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By Jasmine Crittenden
August 16, 2017

Equality Weekender

Haven't enrolled to vote? Sydney bars are becoming 'official' enrolment venues to promote marriage equality.
By Jasmine Crittenden
August 16, 2017

If you're keen to have your say in Australia's upcoming postal vote regarding same-sex marriage, then make sure you're enrolled to vote by August 24. With 14 percent of young Australians yet to do that, time is running out. But what if you just enrolled over a beer at the pub?

Sydney party crew Heaps Gay is taking matters into their own hands. From August 17–20, they're hosting an Equality Weekender. Essentially, it's a massive, nationwide enrolment drive, involving barbecues, parties and assorted spontaneous events where you can enrol or update your enrolment details right there in the bar via postal forms and iPads.

So far, more than 40 venues have signed up, including The Lansdowne, Mary's, The Unicorn, Vic on the Park, The Lord Raglan, Cake Wines, World Bar, The Imperial, Stonewall and Volumes Festival. Each venue will be holding a 'rego party', with enrolment forms, envelopes or (much easier) iPads to get that enrolment sorted, as well as plastering the walls with enrolment posters featuring artwork by Luke Arnold.

"There is an old rule to never discuss politics in a pub, and while some folk in Canberra want to make this issue purely political, we recognise that it is squarely about equality, respect and love," said Jake Smyth, co-owner, The Lansdowne, Mary's and The Unicorn. "We are throwing a party to all to register to vote, to have your voice heard, to speak out for the family members, the friends, the teenagers whose voice has been ignored for too long. Vote yes to marriage equality!"

Heaps Gay's founder and director Kat Dopper hopes to see plenty of young Australians show up at these events. "Young people have such a huge part to play in the conversation of marriage equality. By holding these events and encouraging people to bring a little positivity into the world, we hope that people will get more involved and more engaged in this issue. This isn't just about marriage, this is about equal rights — and we need each and every one of you to join in."

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