A record-breaking number of people gathered in Melbourne to declare their support of same-sex marriage.
Organizers say that at least 15,000 people attended a rally Saturday in the Australian city — which would make it one of the largest displays of support for LGBT rights in the country's history, reports Reuters.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) August 26, 2017
The rally, which has been held annually in recent years, concluded with a mass wedding of same-sex couples on the steps of the Victorian State Library. The ceremony is symbolic, as Australia remains one of the last English-speaking developed nations that has not legalized same-sex marriage.
Australians will submit a mail-in ballot this November, which will gauge the nation's views of same-sex marriage. Previous polls have indicated a majority of support.
The vote is nonbinding, meaning that it will not have any immediate legal effect. However, Austrlia's Liberal Party had promised to poll the nation before voting on the issue in Parliament.
The mail-in ballot has been criticized by activists, who warned it would spark a dangerous antigay campaign. Indeed, posters with hateful vitriol like "stop the fags" have already appeared in Sydney and Australia.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull denounced the posters in an interview with Melbourne radio station 2DayFM. "I deplore disrespectful abusive language, whether it is directed at young gay people or people of other religions or people of other races," he said.