Now that the Turnbull Government’s postal vote is increasingly likely to happen, the National Union of Students (NUS) LGBTI Department has launched our NUS says YES campaign.

Given the deadline for updating enrolment is Thursday 24 August, from Monday 14 to Friday 18 August, around the country university campuses will be hosting enrol-to-vote events to encourage students to enrol and update their details. On many campuses, this will be accompanied by speak-outs and rallies in favour of a YES vote for marriage equality.

‘None of us wants this postal vote,’ said Chris di Pasquale, National LGBTI Officer for NUS. ‘It’s a grubby, desperate move by Malcolm Turnbull to keep the nasty conservatives in his party on side, while deliberately disenfranchising young people.’

‘Eighty-one per cent of young people between 18 and 24 support marriage equality yet 14 per cent are not on the electoral roll,’ said di Pasquale. ‘That’s some 280,000 young people who aren’t currently able to have their say on this issue.’

‘We know that we have the majority on our side but this vote is rigged in the NO camp’s favour,’ said di Pasquale. ‘So now that Turnbull has imposed this vote on us, now that he’s set the terrain for the debate, we have to fight like we’ve never fought to win it.’

‘It’s also important to recognise that this isn’t just any election between the old political parties,’ said di Pasquale. ‘This is a vote for the kind of society we want to live in: a society that allows our LGBTI members to live with dignity and pride, or a society that continues to oppress us in order to please a handful of right-wing cranks in Canberra.’

The campus speak-outs and enrol-to-vote events are part of a coordinated national week of action involving the NUS LGBTI Department and campus queer collectives, with events so far planned for Monash University (Clayton), University of Melbourne, La Trobe, University of Sydney, Curtin University and more.