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Rainbow Families Say No Plebiscite campaign


Update: Monday 7 November 2016

celebrating the defeat of the plebiscite bill in the Senate
celebrating the defeat of the plebiscite bill in the Senate, 7 November 2016

The plebiscite bill has been voted down in the Senate tonight – 33 against and just 29 for. And it’s time to say thank you! To all the rainbow families including our wonderful children, our friends and families and all of our fabulous supporters.

Felicity Marlowe and Annie Sparks from Rainbow Families Victoria  are celebrating tonight with some lovely supportive Senators – Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore, Senator Janet Rice, Senator Louise Pratt and Senator Rachel Siewert as well as the excellent Shelley Argent from PFLAG ! We hope you are celebrating too – you all deserve it. We did this together – thank you x

100+ photos of rainbow families from across Australia sent to support our No Plebiscite campaign
100+ photos of rainbow families from across Australia sent to support our No Plebiscite campaign

Update: Monday 31 October 2016

We need to urgently remind every single Senator that Rainbow Families Say No Plebiscite.  Every Senator needs to hear our simple message: please do not hold a plebiscite under any circumstances and a free vote is the best, the fairest, the quickest and the least harmful option for achieving marriage equality.

The Senate returns to Canberra on Monday 7 November – in just one week.  It is the third last sitting week for the year and if the Malcolm Turnbull government wants to get their plebiscite bill up and get organised for the proposed date of February 11, they will want the Senate to vote on the Bill asap.

This week we are sending our family photos to our Senators to remind them that our families exist and are real and that our children do not deserve the harm that will be caused by a plebiscite and to call for a free vote now.


Senators get advised and informed on many different issues every day – we really need our message to stick in their minds (and hearts) when they return to Canberra next Monday 7 November.

Plus there was disturbing reports last week that at least one federal MP, Warren Entsch, was sounding out the crossbench for consideration of alternative plebiscite arrangements…and new NXT Senator, Senator Griff, was quoted in The Australian last Wednesday as saying ” NXT’s opposition to the plebiscite was “rock solid” but there was a “minute chance” of change “if all of the key LGBTI groups came to us with a package they were convinced would not be divisive within their own community and would bring about immediate change”. Comments like these are very concerning.

You can help remind every Senators that there is no such thing as a good plebiscite. They need to hear it loud and clear that no compromise, no tinkering around the edges, no last minute amendments will make a plebiscite any more acceptable.

1. Use ‘I’ statements: Introduce your self and your family – attach a family photo and talk about the possible impact on each of you, especially the children in your family: your children, nieces, nephews, grandkids.
2. Use facts and statistics: State clearly “I do not support a plebiscite under any circumstances ever” and explain why – citing surveys and research you can gather from our information kit below.                          3. Be assertive: Ask for a response explaining what the Senator intends to do when the Bill comes to the Senate for debate next week.

You can read our “Rainbow Families Say No Plebiscite” information kit for current research, surveys and our campaign statement: http://www.rainbowfamilies.org.au/…/RAINBOW-FAMILIES-info-k…

Find your Senators here:

LIVE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA OR VICTORIA?  We think these four Senators would love a personal email and photo from you this week – you might even get a mention in their speech! We visited three of them (not Nick) when we were in Canberra on September 13.

Senator Nick Xenophon

Senator Stirling Griff

Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore

Senator Derryn Hinch

Together we can make a difference – thank you.

And don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE our campaign FB page:


Update 2: No more plebiscite!

Well that was exciting! Rainbow Families representatives – including children – were so proud to be in Parliament on Tuesday 11 October for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s announcement that the ALP will vote against the Government’s plebiscite in the Senate, joining the Greens, Nick Xenophon Team and Senator Hinch to block the enabling legislation.

As we have throughout this campaign, Rainbow Families continues to call on all Parliamentarians who support marriage equality to work together for a free vote, and get this long-overdue reform done soon!

Thank you everyone who attended  and supported the ‘No plebiscite’ campaign from home in so many ways. And how awesome are all of the kids?! What a fantastic community effort.

For more updates visit our campaign page on Facebook.

Rainbow Families at Parliament House 11 Oct 2016
Rainbow Families at Parliament House 11 Oct 2016

Update 1: we’re going to Canberra again!

We believe that enabling politicians to meet our kids and  families face-to-face on 13 September truly helped turn the political tide against the plebiscite. We’ve heard this from several politicians.

This week is the next crucial (and we hope final) stage in the campaign to stop the plebiscite. The ALP caucus meets on Tuesday 11 October to make their decision, and the Senate is likely to debate the plebiscite legislation the next day.

We believe that it’s critical that some of our rainbow families are there for the decision and the debate. Will you please help us get there?

We know that many politicians were moved by meeting our kids, and hearing directly from them about how they feel about the issue. Kids get directly to the heart of things, and make politicians remember that this is about real families and children.

We need to raise additional funds to assist with accommodation and costs of printing our materials, including our information kit with 100+ photos of rainbow families from around the country.

Can you please help us? We would be so grateful. To donate please click here: https://www.gofundme.com/2t5qrrg

Rainbow families went Canberra to say: “For the kids’ sake … No Plebiscite!”

Meeting politicians personally so they get to see and talk to the very children and their families who will be directly impacted upon by a plebiscite is a very powerful and effective way to effect people’s hearts and minds.

On September 13 2016, Rainbow Families Victoria and Rainbow Families NSW took 21 parents and carers, and 28 children and young people to visit MPs and Senators in Canberra. We wanted them to hear direct from our children and families how we feel about the proposed plebiscite on marriage equality, and the platform it will give to homophobia, transphobia and hate-speech.

jpeg for Facbook profile for the kids' sake please #noplebscite

We had an amazing visit! We met with more than 30 MPs/Senators, gave them copies of our information kit with 100 beautiful photos of rainbow families, and received extraordinary media coverage.

But there’s still more work to do, to ensure the plebiscite does not go ahead. To find out how you can help, please like and share our Rainbow Families Say No Plebiscite Facebook page, so you can keep informed about actions you can take to help.

You can also download and share our fabulous information kit, below. The kit is called ‘Rainbow Families say ‘For the kids’ sake … please no plebiscite’ , and includes:

  • our key messages about why we don’t want a plebiscite
  •  the Irish referendum and its impact on kids and families
  • data from LGBTIQ-specialist mental health service Drummond Street Services about the detrimental impact the plebiscite campaign would have on LGBTIQ people and our families
  • survey summaries and quotes showing the great majority of LGBTIQ people are against the plebiscite
  •  100 wonderful family photos sent to us in just 4 days to support our call for No Plebiscite.

Below is the full kit (updated with new research about the impacts of the Irish referendum) with photos as a zipped file, and the kit without photos as a PDF.



RF-logo-80mm-1 copy

On Tuesday 13 September 2016, Rainbow FaRainbow Families Council Logomilies Council and Rainbow Families NSW will  take 15+ families to Canberra to meet Members of Parliament and Senators from across the political spectrum to say: “For the kids’sake, please no plebiscite.”

*We need your help and support to make this work!
See below for 3 quick actions you can take.*

Our children and our families are frequently the target of anti-marriage equality campaigns, but their voices are rarely heard. A plebiscite campaign will subject our children and families to many months of stress, anxiety and hate speech.  We fear the impact this will have on all of us, but especially those who are more isolated or vulnerable. This is the message we will take to Canberra.

We want MPs to hear what our children have to say about the plebiscite — and yes, 8-year-olds do have strong opinions!  We hope that by meeting our kids, our elected representatives will better understand the very real threat that a plebiscite represents to our children’s mental health and wellbeing. We also hope to change some hearts and minds on marriage equality, along the way.

We need your help

We can make a real difference in stopping this harmful plebiscite, but we need your help and support to be effective.

Here are 3 quick actions you can take to help.

1. Donate to help families get to Canberra

If you can’t join us in Canberra on Tuesday 13 September, can you please donate to ensure others can get there? Go to our GoFundMe “Support Rainbow Families Road Trip” campaign page to donate  – please ask your friends and family to help too.

We need to raise $3000 in one week! Any more  will go towards future campaign activities against the plebiscite by rainbow families. If 100 people donate just $30 we will reach our goal, hopefully by Friday 9 September. Every little bit will help.

The more we raise, the more families we can  take. That means reaching more politicians on the day. It could make a real difference.

All funds will be used to help with families’ travel and accommodation costs, and to produce  materials including placards and  booklets with quotes and photos from diverse rainbow families. We’ll hand these to all politicians we meet, and send them to those we can’t. We’ve already got lots of meetings booked in. MPs are keen to hear from us.

Please donate to and share our crowd-funding campaign.

2. Take a family photo to show your support

They say a picture says a thousand words and when it comes to family photos of our children, we know that’s true. We want to put faces to the arguments we are making on behalf of rainbow families – to show the politicians that the decisions they make affect real children in real families.

Below are four signs you can download, print and use in a family photo to show that you support our call: “For the kids’ sake … please no plebiscite”. You can use one or all signs in your photo, and there’s a blank for you to write your own message if you like.

In your email, please tell us the family name or your first names as well as the city and the state/territory you live in – “The Smiths, Adelaide, South Australia.” That way we can make sure we give your photo to the politician from your state or territory specifically.

We need your photos emailed to info@rainbowfamilies.org.au by Friday 9 September 2016. We will use them on Tuesday 13 September when we present a booklet of photos to the MPs and Senators we visit (and we’ll send them to those we don’t!).

Placard 1 for the kids sake #noplebiscite thumbnailPlacard 1 for the kids sake #noplebiscite


Placard 2 Love Makes a Family thumbnailPlacard 2 Love Makes a Family #noplebiscite


Placard 3 rainbow families say #noplebiscite thumbnailPlacard 3 rainbow families say #noplebiscite


Placard 4 blank thumbnailPlacard 4 blank #noplebiscite

3. ‘Like’ our campaign Facebook page to keep in touch and  spread the word

Please visit our special ‘Rainbow families say No Plebiscite’ Facebook page, Like it and invite your friends to do the same.

We’ll post information to share, and further actions that you can take (and ask others to take) to support the campaign. On Tuesday September 13 we’ll use it as a live diary of our day – so please watch this space!

And a couple more things …

In the leadup to our Canberra visit on Tuesday 13 September, you can also show your support by changing your Facebook and/or Twitter profile pics too.

Here’s a jpeg you can use, or visit our Facebook page to get it there.

jpeg for Facbook profile for the kids' sake please #noplebscite


We are a volunteer community organisation based in Victoria, Australia. We support and promote equality for ‘rainbow’ families (parents and prospective parents who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, transgender or intersex, and their children).