MPs to hear from marriage equality supporters through new campaign

Equality Phone box_editorial APNAustralian Marriage Equality and Ben & Jerry’s have announced a ground breaking campaign that will increase pressure on federal MPs to support marriage equality. The new initiative dubbed #EqualityCalling will allow voters who support marriage equality to record a message that will be automatically delivered to their federal representatives and highlighted on social media.

Following claims by a number of politicians that the issue of Marriage Equality isn’t important to their constituents as they receive few phone calls on the topic, Ben & Jerry’s and Australian Marriage Equality have initiated a mass voice-mail campaign that will send messages of support directly to local MPs and Senators.

The voice of beloved Australian comedian, Wendy Harmer helps callers record their message and introduces the calls that are phoned through to politicians’ offices, all in a lighthearted and humorous way.

This type of public action is an Australian first and renews the long-standing partnership between Australian Marriage Equality, Australia’s leading marriage equality advocacy organisation and progressive ice cream creators and social justice campaigns, Ben & Jerry’s. #EqualityCalling is a part of Ben and Jerry’s ongoing “Say I DOugh” campaign for marriage equality, in partnership with Australian Marriage Equality.

Kalli Swaik, Ben & Jerry’s Brand Champion said: “As a social justice company, we’re immensely proud to support an issue that embodies so many of our core values. We champion equality above all else, believing that everyone in a loving relationship should be able to celebrate their commitment to each other in marriage, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.”

“To make marriage equality a reality in Australia, we need to make our collective community’s voices heard and that is exactly what our Equality Calling hotline will do. We hope that MPs will listen to their constituents on the importance of marriage equality when the Marriage Equality conscience vote is called later this year. We believe 2015 is the year we can create change.”

Rodney Croome, Australian Marriage Equality national director, said: “Polls show 72% of Australians support marriage equality and this exciting initiative will help convey that high level of popular support from the towns and suburbs of Australia directly into parliament.”

“Equality Calling gives marriage equality supporters a quick and easy way to reach all their federal representatives and it gives us a way to publicly highlight the substantial number of contacts politicians are receiving from constituents.”

“Ben & Jerry’s is an important leader on marriage equality in the corporate sector and we thank them for all they have done to help achieve the reform. Ben & Jerry’s has become integral to the Australian marriage equality story.” Mr Croome said.

Kicking off the campaign Ben & Jerry’s will unveil the Say I DOugh #EqualityCalling phone box, an iconic London phone box with a difference. Featuring a Mardi Gras makeover, the rainbow coloured, glitter bombed phone box will serve as a highly visual symbol; rallying people to unite in support of Marriage Equality and have their voices heard by their MPs and representatives.

The #EqualityCalling phone box will debut at Mardi Gras’ Fair Day on Sunday 22 February with those attending encouraged to leave a voicemail for their local MP. Those unable to attend Fair Day can still have their say and leave their messages of support by calling 1300 663 679.

The famous ice-creamery is also once again renaming its iconic ice cream flavour Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough to ‘I DOugh, I DOugh’ so fans can also show their support at scoop shops across the country.

For more information, visit: www.australianmarriageequality.org for details.

Image: Damian Shaw

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