YESFest: Newcastle welcomes "yes" vote with open arms

Fairness and equality for all will be the message of the day when Newcastle hosts a marriage equality event titled YESfest.

ACON, Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle LGBTIQ Alliance have come together to host a picnic gathering in King Edward Park.

The gathering is billed as a “positive, supportive, fun, connected, family-friendly community event where Newcastle will come together to say ‘yes to love,’ and  ‘yes to equality’”.

Supporters of marriage equality are invited to bring a picnic blanket and lunch, and enjoy an array of activities which have been planned for the day.

There will be music to chill and dance to, art activities, lawn games and prizes for the best themed picnic.

YES: A special event, YESfest, will be held by the "yes" campaign in King Edward Park.

YES: A special event, YESfest, will be held by the "yes" campaign in King Edward Park.

A Newcastle says “yes” photo will be taken of everyone who attends.

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon, who is expected to speak on the day, said she was excited to be involved in such a “positive step forward in the battle to unite Australia”.

“These community events are great opportunities for us to stand strong and be really proud that we’re a community that understands why it is that you would want to strengthen and build on those ties that ensure fairness and equity,” Ms Claydon said.

“It’s time for every Novocastrian to stand alongside them and say ‘yes we are here to support you, and you should have the same rights as our sons, daughters, cousins and neighbours.’

“If you love someone, you love someone and all our love should be treated equally.”

Director of Australians for Equality, Tiernan Brady, praised the efforts of Newcastle’s YESfest.  

“We don’t win if we try to cut the country in two, and everyone has to live in the country after this is all said and done, so we all pay the price for negativity,” Mr Brady said.

“It’s much better to be positive.

“Events like these gatherings in Newcastle are crucial to the campaign, and with local council support and the fantastic response of the town, I think there’s a lot to be learned for us all.”

YESfest is a family friendly event and will be held on Sunday, October 15, from 11am.  

There will be no food vans so participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch. 

Postal survey forms on marriage equality need to be posted in time to be received before November 7. Results from the survey are expected to be announced on November 15. 

This story YESfest is for equality first appeared on The Star.